The United States government has recently broken a record, setting the record for the longest government shut down in history (32 days as of January 22, 2019). The cause behind the shut down? The border wall that President Donald Trump promised during the 2016 elections. Many American on both sides have become furious with the fact that the government has shut down over such an outrageous matter.
Brian Kolfage Jr. was one such American, and took his support of the wall up a notch by starting a GoFundMe page to fund the wall. Kolfage is a United States Air Force Veteran who served in Iraq. During his second tour in Iraq, Kolfage’s base was attacked and he lost both of his legs and his right arm. He continued to serve in the Air Force until 2007.
Kolfage started the GoFundMe for the wall because he, according to WeBuildTheWall.us, “feel(s) deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today…” and being a United States Air Force-man, he feels a duty to protect our southern border.
Kolfage began the GoFundMe December 17th, 2018 after deciding “enough was enough,” and that it was up to the American people to fund the wall. But come January 11th, 2019, Kolfage discovered that for the donation to the government to be accepted it would have to be approved by Congress. With the government shut down and a split Congress, Kolfage knew something else had to be done, so he started a nonprofit organization out of Florida called WeBuildTheWall Inc. The new goal of the GoFundMe is not to fund the wall anymore, but to build it themselves.
“President Trump wants funding from the government. This GoFundMe page was created by citizens, and people donated because they want to build the wall. Is it crappy that we as a nation are worried about building the wall instead of ending child hunger or other important matters like that? Yes, but the fact that we as a nation feel that we need a wall means that we should build the wall,” said senior Jacob Tribby.
Tribby feels that the Constitution was created to allow all opinions, even those that are unpopular, to be heard. He believes that since these people donated their money to build the wall, no matter what happens, it should go towards building the wall.
Junior Alyssa Forester believes that the government shut down over the wall shows what has always been true about the United States government.
“I believe the shut down over the wall enforces that fact that our government is not willing to work together. No matter how much money is raised on the GoFundMe, I do not believe that it will ever be enough to produce what President Trump wants. That is why I feel like the government needs to compromise. No one is willing to try to compromise right now, but they need to fix this and focus on the American people,” said Forester.
Senior Katherine Patterson does not believe that the wall is the greatest idea when most illegal immigrants arrive legally on a visa and just stay, but she does not believe that people should be stopped from supporting their beliefs. Patterson feels that that a shut down over the wall is childish and believes that the government should be focusing on matters within the nation.
“I believe this shut down speaks truths about the government. This age of social media, where you can just block out anything you do not want to believe, has set the tone for not only the government but the American people; instead of trying to work things out, you just shut down. Our government needs to accept the fact that they are not always right or wrong, it is not all black and white,” said Patterson.
“I believe that the GoFundMe for the wall is not something that will work. I do not believe that a private business will be able to gain access to the border to build the wall. It is something that the government would have to decide, and besides I feel like a private business will not have the capacity nor the financial aid to build it and it will just fall short,” said junior Jeffrey Hart.
Hart also believes that it is a very limited amount of the population that want the wall and that the GoFundMe does not resemble anything that will cause change.
“The shut down over the wall shows how our government is bipartisan and that it is not effective at its job. People need to stop caring about the party, and start caring about the people,” said Hart.
In over a month, the GoFundMe page has raised $20,769,513 of their $1 billion goal. If you wish to support the GoFundMe, you can donate here; WeBuildTheWall.