You probably thought 2018 couldn’t get any more outrageous, right? After all, we’ve already had the President of the United States declare himself a “stable genius” on Twitter, host awards for “dishonest” journalists and be exposed in a tell-all book which spared no details about his family.
We have seen the red carpet turn black at the Golden Globes as Hollywood stars protested against the sexual harassment culture rife in the industry. Then, Hawaii was temporarily panic-stricken after a false alarm warned them of an incoming ballistic missile. Surely, that’s as bleak as it gets?
Wrong. On Saturday the government shutdown threw America, and as a result, a large portion of the world, into complete turmoil.
The shutdown came as a result of a dispute over immigration policy. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was implemented by the Obama administration in 2012 and shut down by the Trump Administration in 2017, meant that some individuals who had illegally entered America as minors were entitled to a two-year period of deferred action from deportation and access to a work permit. As of 2017, there were 800,000 ‘DREAMers’ enrolled in the program.
It was Trump’s decision to end this policy that prompted the Federal Government Shutdown after Democrats fought to keep the policy in place.
But while the details of why the government closed are alarming and of huge concern to thousands of people who consider themselves American citizens, it was the White House’s temporary voicemail which really appalled the world.
Thousands of people contacted 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during the shutdown, simply to listen to the voicemail which ominously greeted them.