For the past five days, the display of the stupidity in the elected bodies of Congress has been on full display.
For the past five days, Americans have had to put up with politically framed speeches and explanations of why this shutdown had to happen and whose fault it truly is.
For the past five days the amount of grandstanding “on principle” has made many feel that no one in Washington DC will ever listen to the people ever again.
However for the past five days—outside of DC—another story began to be told.
For the past five days, more than a quarter of a million American citizens have been more successful in gaining consensus than sixty elected U.S. Senators.
And with a greater measure of what it actually costs those same quarter of a million citizens—representing political affiliations of every stripe—have shamed our nation’s highest elected body into an abject embarrassment for their inability to reflect the will of those who sent them there.
Simultaneously this crystal clear sign of American will has survived a challenge to its integrity that is fairly telling.
Here are the details.
At the Senate’s inability to find the votes necessary to pass the initial 5 billion to fund a permanent border barrier, a triple amputee, decided to lead in a different direction.
Brian Kolfage, the most seriously wounded Special Forces Airman to ever survive combat, has no more use for three of his four limbs. He is a successful private citizen. He is a Purple Heart recipient.
Last week he started the Go Fund me page: “We The People Will Fund The Wall.”
Five days after he did, the page has been liked some 259,000, with nearly 258,000 of those liking the page making a contribution.
As a matter of fact for every two seconds that has ticked off our clocks for the last five days a new donor has given on average roughly $62 to the fund.
He’s had no 24 hours a day CSPAN camera for him to command, or a radio platform to use for a telethon, or even a jammed media tour to help get the word out.
He has simply challenged Americans, to act on what they believe. In five days he has raised close to $16,000,000.00!
A smarmy response page titled: “Ladders To Get Over Trump’s Wall” has also been formed.
The response there hasn’t been quite as stunning with barely 5000 people participating and a whopping total of $125,000 raised. Which averages out close to $30 per donor.
Perhaps not surprising, Go Fund Me, rates the “Ladders” page as a “trending page” even with such paltry results. The “Build The Wall” page is supposedly “not trending.”
Obviously many forms of awareness and promotion could change the outcome of both pages, so in that sense they are anything but a serious example resembling scientific evidence. Yet with similar anonymity through the end of Saturday it is hard to argue that they don’t point to an absolute and conclusive comparison.
This comparison stands in sharp contrast to the math in Washington DC. President Trump demanded Congress produce $5 billion to further the current wall efforts. Voters believe that this fixed cost is reasonable given that we spent $285 billion last year attempting to enforce border security without one.
Americans overwhelmingly believe a southern barrier to our border needs to be established. And while the elected bodies of Congress seemed grossly ham-handed in attempting to fund one, the free market, the internet, and one of our finest warriors—who has only one functioning limb—seem to be able to accomplish more precisely what the people expect.
And if they’ve raised $16million in five days, with almost no exposure, imagine what the response would be if they garnered the press the issue deserves!
Then imagine such a base going to the ballot box and canceling the paychecks Congress still draws even after they voted to shutdown the government.
Sometimes things aren’t nearly as complicated as we imagine them to be. Some days it just takes the example of someone who understands sacrifice—like a triple amputee—to help us see it!