As I traveled the Great American Pickle Barrel, I was very curious of the effect the government shutdown over border security was having on the American people outside of the D.C. liberal bubble. The prophetic reporting by the liberal media of the apocalyptic ramifications on our great nation was only 25% of it shuttered. The people I spoke with, as well as those I eavesdropped on, revealed to me how much different this government shutdown is from past shutdowns. These wonderful people ranged from high tech millennials, coal miners, truck drivers, store managers to executives of billion-dollar multi-national corporations and prominent college athletic directors.
If you noticed when I started this discourse I did not say or use the conspicuous “wall” Trump colloquialism. One only has to spend a few minutes with the average American Pickle Barrel conversation to understand the common language that differs so strikingly from what the liberal media, Democrats (one in the same), and the masters of the universe use to describe the effects we are supposed to be enduring with the ever present government shutdown.
These liberal voices demand that we have compassion for the 800,000 or so government employees and the wastelands that are sure to detonate into our daily lives. These liberal Democrats use such dogmatic language while sunbathing in Puerto Rico or enjoying the Broadway play, “Hamilton.” It seems the drive to NYC is somehow more burdensome than the carbon emission-heavy private jet flight to Puerto Rico. It is more convenient for the Democrat Congressman and 109 lobbyists from the masters of the universe to soak up the sun and surf while we Americans suffer from lack of stewardship of our beloved government overseers.
What we see here in the American Pickle Barrel is “NOTHING.” Why should we? We got up this morning and our utilities were all working, our cars had gas, we had food, our social media still worked, our favorite shows were on, house payments were made, car payments were made, and college for our children was being paid – and our bills arrived on time. Now that would be an effect we all would notice if our bills stopped!
Why? Because we are for the most part “WORKING.” The economy is working on Main Street, wages are rising, the war on coal is over, the war on the American middle class has subsided, and government regulation has been rolled back.
Why are we not expressing our affirmation for the hardships of the government worker? There is an expression in the American heartland that we use to show sensitive empathy towards a person’s actions or plight brought on by their own ill-advised actions, or in this case, detachment from others’ lives: “God bless their heart!” It’s not that we here in the American Pickle Barrel do not empathize with the government worker. We do, to a point. Here is the difference.
When we out here beyond the D.C. liberal bubble faced real hardship, the liberal bureaucratic government employee was shielded with higher than average wages and benefits we would die for here in the private sector. They have the safety net of knowing that they will get all back pay with interest. Their health benefits will continue. Their bills will come and be paid. We lost homes, cars, boats, college, and property while those very government agencies promised us “retraining.” Our bills still came and went unpaid. Sorry, we just do not see it!
As for the “wall”, I was fortunate to listen to a conversation of a diverse group at an AT&T store. This discourse was respectful and poignant. They couldn’t have cared less if the “wall’ is made of concrete, steel, or wire. They couldn’t have cared less who paid for it. It had no relevance to campaign platforms. They all wanted it in one form or the other. To them, the “wall” is border security. They see illegals killing citizens. The flow of fentanyl is enough to kill the entire population in the U.S. twice over and some of those drug victims are, and were, their loved ones. The African Americans in the group expressed their fears of lower wages and a return to high black unemployment due to illegal immigration job competition.
We out here in the American Pickle Barrel feel these forces upon us. We see Democrats vacationing in the sun with little or no concern to the plight of the government worker or to our services! So why should we?
Simply put: “God bless their hearts – build the wall.”
Rick Clay is an accomplished senior management executive with more than 30 years expertise in technical operations management, civil and military Infrastructure development, project management, government relations, and military operations. Mr. Clay was appointed by President George W. Bush White House as the Senior Deputy Adviser with responsibility to oversee the Iraqi Ministry of Housing and Construction. He has served both as a US Marine and a West Virginia National Guardsman.