I am going to offer a comment that might create some blowback from those who’ll think I am picking too many nits.
So … with that, I’ll offer this: When is the president going to demonstrate an instinct to say something other than “thoughts and prayers” when horrific tragedy strikes?
Seventeen people were shot to death today in a high school in Parkland, Fla. The shooter was arrested and will be charged with multiple counts of murder. School-related gun violence has gotten worse in the past year. Yet the president of the United States, Donald Trump, promised during his inaugural address that “this American carnage will stop right here and right now.”
It hasn’t stopped. Indeed, some have suggested it has worsened in the year since Trump became president. Don’t misunderstand me on this point: I am not blaming the president for the spasm of violence!
The man, though, stands behind the bulliest of pulpits. When events such as this occur, it normally becomes imperative for the nation’s head of state to speak candidly, emotionally and with conviction to his constituents.
When the gunman opened fire in 2012 in Newtown, Conn., killing 27 people — including 20 first- and second-graders — President Obama stormed into the White House press room and wept as he told us of his outrage at the horror that unfolded.
Donald Trump has a young son who still lives at home with his parents; he has grandchildren. Certainly at some level he must feel a sense of horror at what occurred today in Florida. Surely he must be able to articulate a sense of dread and terror and offer some words of comfort to the loved ones of those who perished today in Parkland, Fla.
We hear, though, via Twitter that the president extends his “thoughts and prayers.” Well, many of us appreciate that expression from the president — as far as it goes.
Thus, I am compelled to ask: Is that it?