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Leibee: America is demonstrating lazy politics

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. 

When Americans wake up and go on Twitter every morning, they might scroll through tweets from celebrities, friends or companies. If they are following any elected official in the United States government, they will also scroll through tweets about what is happening in the American government, specifically at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Right as Americans are brushing their teeth, they might read Hillary Clinton’s tweet about people at the border not even being provided with basic conveniences like toothbrushes. Then they turn off their phones and go about their day without another thought, accepting that this is the country we live in.

U.S. citizens and politicians have fallen into a pattern of acceptance for the injustices in this country and around the world. Lives that are not our own become worthless, and tragedies that we feel we have no control over easily slip to the back of our minds.

Politicians and journalists let Americans know what is happening in situations like this for the purpose of keeping citizens aware, but the truth is that politicians actually need to take action to get asylum seekers out of the processing facilities at the border — they need to do the work they were elected to do.

However, the point is that a lazy government that does nothing is almost worse than a government that tries to make mistakes.

To provide context, thousands of families leave Mexico yearly due to financial hardship, violence and poverty. Asylum seekers are being forced to stay at the border in unsanitary and unlivable conditions while their cases are processed. Children have been separated from their families and are living without soap, toothpaste and beds. Unbothered by the conditions, politicians in the Donald Trump administration prove to have no sense of urgency towards the situation.

Our current government isn’t trying hard enough. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is hearing minimal cases daily, endangering families that are forced to wait at the border while they seek asylum. 

This isn’t the first time a politician, such as President Trump, has made his way as a figurehead, signing bills for his own interest, but demonstrating lazy and ineffective politics during a true crisis. In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, former President George W. Bush showed a lack of interest in the crisis all together, leaving thousands stranded and suffering in the Superdome

Rather than actually working to help the people that have been detained at the border, politicians have been arguing as to whether these detainment areas should be compared to concentration camps, to which historians say, yes, that is a correct comparison.

However, the point is that a lazy government that does nothing is almost worse than a government that tries to make mistakes. We saw it with Hoovervilles during the Depression in the 1930s, in which homeless citizens lived in makeshift housing around the nation. We saw it with Bush’s inaction, and we’re seeing it again.

Congress has seemingly forgotten about their power of checks and balances, as they do nothing for the border and spin their wheels on attempting to impeach a lazy president. 

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It’s no longer difficult to understand that the United States is committing such atrocities. It’s no longer surprising that our government is actively endangering other people. At some point, we have accepted that this is how our country acts.

No one has to fix what is happening. In all honesty, no one even has to care: a statement the president might agree with. If all these things are true, it’s a sign we have elected the wrong officials into office. It is a sign we have elected officials based on identity politics, personal interest and bias rather than merit. 

President Trump wasn’t elected because Americans thought he could make great change and help underprivileged citizens in this country. He was elected because of an internal civil war between U.S. Republicans and Democrats.

We accept that President Trump is lazy and doing nothing for this country — because that is exactly what he was elected to do.

Katrina Leibee can be reached at letters@collegian.com or Twitter @KatrinaLeibee.

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About the Contributor
Katrina Leibee
Katrina Leibee, Editor-in-Chief
Katrina Leibee is serving as The Rocky Mountain Collegian's editor in chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Leibee started at The Collegian during the fall of her freshman year writing for the opinion desk. She then moved up to assistant opinion editor and served as the opinion director for the 2020-21 academic year. Leibee is a journalism and political science double major, but her heart lies in journalism. She enjoys writing, editing and working with a team of people to create the paper more than anything. Ask anyone, Leibee loves her job at The Collegian and believes in the great privilege and opportunity that comes with holding a job like this. The biggest privilege is getting to work with a team of such smart, talented editors, writers, photographers and designers. The most important goal Leibee has for her time as editor in chief is to create change, and she hopes her and her staff will break the status quo for how The Collegian has previously done things and for what a college newspaper can be. From creating a desk dedicated entirely to cannabis coverage to transitioning the paper into an alt-weekly, Leibee hopes she can push the boundaries of The Collegian and make it a better paper for its readers and its staff. Leibee is not one to accept a broken system, sit comfortably inside the limits or repeat the words, "That's the way we've always done things." She is a forward thinker with a knack for leadership, and she has put together the best staff imaginable to bring The Collegian to new heights.

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