Christopher Nichols, an associate professor of history at Oregon State University, has these thoughts on the government shutdown
“The longest U.S. federal government shutdown in history continues without an end in sight. The first such shutdown occurred in 1879, also at a moment of exceedingly contentious politics regarding race relations, federal, and state power, in the long shadow of the Civil War, but unlike that shutdown and those that followed there appears to no compromise solution at hand. Why? Because this is ultimately a shutdown about the president demanding a single spending item and priority, based on a campaign promise, without the full support of his party, and in the absence of a clear plan to achieve a desired political result.
“In short, this is not a well-conceived shutdown and the political fallout is more likely to be significant and enduring than that for the shutdowns of the past. As the effects of the shutdown continue to spread damage to workers and communities across the country, and lawsuits mount, politicians, particularly in the Republican Party and those up for election in 2020, will face increasing pressure to pass the spending bills they already approved in December or versions of them, to re-open the government. “
Nichols is a frequent commentator on the historical dimensions of foreign policy and politics. He is a scholar of isolationism, internationalism, and globalization, and American politics, and is the author or editor of five books, including the forthcoming Rethinking Grand Strategy and the award-winning Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age.
Nichols is available for print, radio and tv interviews. Oregon State University has on-campus tv and radio studios. He can be reached at: [email protected].