Depending on your point of view, the United States and the United Kingdom can be seen as great bastions of liberal democracy, progress, and freedom; or imperial powers struggling to hold on to the power and wealth accumulated largely through colonialism and war.
Either way, the rest of the world looks on in curiosity as the governments of these once great nations decide to disengage from hard-won international treaties and agreements, put their fingers in their ears to economic realities and begin to build walls around themselves, now that they aren't allowed to just take from everyone else anymore.
But while Donald Trump stokes nonsensical fear of terrorist hordes, flooding over the border to justify his precious wall for 'national security,' people are finding themselves in real and present danger due to the government shutdown he has called to get his way. Hundreds of thousands of government workers are being stood down or are working without pay, including those critical to the safety of air passengers, such as airport security workers and air traffic controllers.
The irony of it all would be hilarious if it weren't so serious. Scroll down below to see the actual, tangible ways that the shutdown is affecting the safety of Americans and let us know what you think in the comments. (Facebook cover image: iStock / MediaProduction)