Letter: Trump must be fair to federal workers


To the editor:

Dear Mr. President. I can imagine why you feel so strongly about a physical wall along our southern border. I can imagine why you feel the need to please your base and fulfill a campaign promise.

But I do not understand how in good conscience you can justify shutting down part of the government to gain leverage over those with whom you disagree. You are preventing 800,000 federal workers from fulfilling their responsibilities. You are depriving them of their livelihood. Can you imagine what it's like to miss car and mortgage payments and other bills? Can you imagine what it's like to postpone plans and to feel helpless when all they really want to do is get back to work and make progress toward fulfilling their dreams? Can you imagine their anxieties and fears and what many thousands of children are feeling when they see their parents suffer the consequences of your decision? What you have done is not only wrong, it is cruel!

There is a part of me that has compassion for you. I can imagine you feeling that if you don't hold firm you will be seen as weak. I can imagine you needing to tweet and bluster to avoid being seen as losing control. I can imagine you feel the need to employ fear tactics and intimidation lest fellow Republicans begin to express their dismay about the conditions being faced by those who have been furloughed. You blame Democrats and, yes, they are culpable as well, but it's time for all to suspend their intransigence.

Please let federal employees go back to work, and please respond to the better angels of your nature and invite all Americans to join in on thoughtful discussions about immigration. Let people listen carefully to each other's arguments in the hopes that, together, we can arrive at creative solutions that support and sustain the best traditions of America and respected standards of human decency.

Richard Markham,




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