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As of this writing, 800,000 federal workers are basically being held hostage by the President of the United States. The government shutdown is at 16 days because of a dispute between President Trump and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

As we heard throughout Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, he wants to build a “big beautiful wall’ on the border of Mexico to supposedly keep immigrants from entering the country illegally…a wall that Mexico was allegedly going to pay for. Now as federal workers face their first nonpaycheck of 2019, they also have to face the fact that this government shutdown is based on a gimmick…the wall itself.

This past Saturday, The New York Times reported that the idea of the wall was essentially a trick concocted by Trump’s advisers to keep him from forgetting to denigrate immigrants in campaign stump speeches. “As Mr. Trump began exploring a presidential run in 2014, his political advisers landed on the idea of a border wall as a mnemonic device of sorts, a way to make sure their candidate — who hated reading from a script but loved boasting about himself and his talents as a builder — would remember to talk about getting tough on immigration, which was to be a signature issue in his nascent campaign,” The Times reported.

Now the U.S. government is at the doorstep of a record-breaking shutdown, financially crippling government employees and all of this is based on a campaign gimmick.

You can’t make this stuff up.