I was delighted to learn that the president of the United States would comment on the violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Va.
And for a moment, Donald Trump had me riveted to his statement. He talked about the need for us to unite as one nation, that “we’re all Americans.”
Then he went off the rails. Big surprise? Not really, I’ll concede.
The president talked vaguely about “all sides” being responsible for the violence. All sides? Let’s see: White nationalists, including some Ku Klux Klan members, started marching to protest the taking down of Confederate statues. You know what kind of response KKK members evoke, correct?
Then came the counter protesters who despise what the Klan stands for, not to mention the white nationalists who essentially stand for the same thing.
“All sides” are responsible? I’m still waiting for the president to issue a full-throated condemnation of the “alt right” movement and the white nationalists/supremacists whose presence at the rally provoked the response in the first place.
Then, during his remarks, he launched into another one of those nonsensical riffs about “record low” joblessness and how everything is going so darn well in the United States of America. The implication — to my ears — was that all this good news was the result of his becoming president.
Even some Republican lawmakers were critical of Trump’s response.
The president once again missed a tremendous opportunity to speak with passion and eloquence about a segment of our society that needs a serious presidential condemnation. His predecessors — all of them, regardless of party affiliation — have risen to the occasion when it has presented itself.
Not the guy who’s now sitting in The Big Chair.
If I could borrow a term we hear so often via Twitter from the president: sad.