The ongoing partial government shutdown, the longest in history, is causing pain and inconvenience for millions of Americans. Small business owners are missing out on loans, the national parks are closed or dangerously unmanned, and TSA employees are going without paychecks, just to name a few. None of these issues have forced President Donald Trump to reopen the government, though, so Jimmy Kimmel asked Trump to end the shutdown with a different argument in mind. It could be pretty salient for this particular president: Trump hasn't played golf since November.
“I know it doesn’t mean much to Donald Trump that a bunch of Americans are being forced to work without paychecks,” Kimmel said on Wednesday night, pointing out that it was the 26th day of the government shutdown. “But I know what does matter to you. I know what you care about, down to the bottom of your Kentucky-fried little heart. And that is golf.”
And while it's now the 27th day of the shutdown, it's the 53rd day since Trump played a round of golf, according to NBC News. As of his last trip to the links on Nov. 25, Trump had played golf 167 times in the first two years of his presidency, according to Golf News Net.
As of that last outing in November, Trump had spent at least part of almost a quarter of his days in office at one of his own golf properties, as Golf News Net noted. Soon after the shutdown began, though, Trump promised his supporters that he would be working steadily to fix the situation.
“When our beautiful country’s national security is at stake, I will NEVER take a vacation," he wrote in a campaign email, according to NBC News.
As Kimmel pointed out, reopening the government could free Trump from the confines of the White House and his various official trips.
“With one crazy zigzag stroke of your executive Sharpie, you could be back on the greens at Mar-a-Lago faster than you could say ‘Pocahontas,’" Kimmel said, referring to Trump's racially charged nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren. "You’ll be right back out there eating club sandwiches and bossing caddies around with the boys."
Getting the president back to the golf course, Kimmel argued, wouldn't just be good for Trump himself.
"The federal employees can go back to work; you can get back to doing what you do best: cheating at golf," Kimmel said. "It’s good for you, it’s good for America."
So far, the plight of the nation's federal employees, who are either furloughed or working without pay, has failed to convince the president that the shutdown needs to end. Neither has the myriad of polls coming out on the issue that have revealed that most Americans blame Trump for the shutdown. They've also showed that most Americans don't want Trump's border wall. And according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, Trump is losing support even within his base.
"We need you out on the golf course as much as possible — to keep from you doing things!" Kimmel said to finish the segment. "So think about it... Let’s play our way out of the rough together."