Saturday, January 26, 2019

In Trump Country, Republicans Cheer On Shutdown: The 'government is our biggest enemy'

Photo: Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY
Ten words in faded red ink adorn the glass door of the federal building: "Please hold mail for duration of government shutdown. Thank you."
Here in this northern Colorado coal town, those 10 words, and the unplowed parking lot of that Bureau of Land Management facility, are among the few obvious signs that the nation's federal government is partially closed, resulting in nearly 1 million American workers not getting their taxpayer-paid paychecks.
Many of Craig's 9,000 residents are just fine with that.
In this low-slung Western town that still celebrates cowboys and cattle rustlers, Christmas and Christ, and where the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants bracket the broad valley, residents wonder aloud: Doesn't the shutdown prove their long-held argument that the federal government is too big, too powerful and too expensive?
"It kind of makes me question what they do on a day-to-day basis," says Paul James, 31, who runs the town's sole medical marijuana dispensary. "If I don't miss them, what were they doing?"
Sure, some folks are worried that their relatives in the military aren't getting paid right now. Others are worried about access to federal loan guarantees or getting their tax refunds on time. More than a handful believe the shutdown makes the country look foolish. But generally, Craig's residents are unfazed by the shutdown that's approaching one month and showing no signs of ending. They point out that federal employees eventually will get their salaries even though some didn't even work and that many of those nonessential workers are getting a lengthy vacation.
For many Craig residents, the shutdown remains mostly abstract: The federal government isn't a big employer here, and people are mostly worried about how air-quality regulations are slowly squeezing the life out of the coal mines and power plants. That helps explain the popularity of GOP candidates, where voting for Republicans comes as naturally as breathing, regardless of how you feel about the president. This is a town where pickups and SUVs rule the roads and renewable energy is often scorned as unreliable and unproven.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Trump is toast. Some people just don't realize it yet. He was never anything but a giant con. Some of us knew it from the ride down the escalator and before.

Trump's never been anything but a conman.