President Bill Clinton hugged and consoled survivors of the terrorist attack in Oklahoma City. President George W. Bush put his arm around the shoulders of people digging for survivors and bodies in the rubble of the World Trade Center. President Barack Obama sang Amazing Grace at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Donald Trump went to Dayton and El Paso yesterday, gave the thumbs-up sign with doctors, nurses, and victims of the terrorist attacks…and then he whined about non-existent criticism of his visit.
As usual, Trump made himself the victim out of last weekend’s attacks that killed 32 people and injured 54. Trump was supposed to do the presidential thing and comfort the grieving communities, victims, and medical staff affected by the mass shootings. When presidents do this, they comfort the nation. President Ronald Reagan did it when he addressed the nation after the Challenger explosion. Even most of Obama’s harshest critics kept their mouths shut after he sang Amazing Grace. Donald Trump isn’t capable of doing this.
If Trump did try to sing after a white supremacist’s massacre, it would resemble the “O Death” Klan scene from O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? But Donald Trump doesn’t need to sing. He needs to shut up.
The White House took the narcissism tactic and petty grievances of the inauguration crowd size to Ohio and Texas yesterday. Dan Scanvino, Trump’s social media director, said that Trump was treated at the Dayton hospital like a “rock star.” In El Paso, where Trump visited earlier this year and described it as “one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” victims in the hospital refused to meet with him.
In Dayton, Trump went to the hospital with mayor Nan Whaley and Senator Sherrod Brown. After Trump’s visit, they said the hospital staff and victims were appreciative of the visit by Trump and Melania. Then, Trump attacked them for being dishonest and mischaracterizing the visit. OK, maybe they weren’t appreciative.
Brown and Whaley did criticize Trump on policy, but they didn’t criticize the visit. Trump said that Brown and Whaley had said “to people” that they’d “never seen anything like” the reception he’d had. He then mocked Brown for not getting any support when he flirted with a presidential run. It’s safe to say the gravity of the situation was lost on Donald Trump and his White House.
On Air Force One between Dayton and El Paso, Trump tweeted out attacks on Brown and Whaley. His concern was less about mass shootings, the victims, and how to prevent future shootings, and more with how he’s perceived on television. What may have been under his skin is that there were large amounts of protesters in both cities opposing his visit. You don’t invite the Grim Reaper to the funeral.
Shortly after the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49, Trump used it to boast that he predicted the massacre as he had been warning the nation about the threat of Muslim terrorists. Trump never did warn about white supremacists terrorism and even told the Department of Homeland Security last year to focus more on Islamists, and less on angry white guys. Maybe he was afraid they’d connect the dots.
Trump used the Pulse shooting to congratulate himself. Immediately after 9/11, Trump wasn’t helping at the site of the WTC. He was telling everyone that he now had the tallest building in New York City. After the Pittsburgh synagogue tragedy, Trump expressed more concern about people linking him to the killer. For Trump, it’s always about Trump.
It will never be about the nation or its citizens with Donald Trump. He can’t be presidential and he’s never put anyone else’s interest before his own. The people he hires, whom we pay and who are supposed to work in our best interest, work only to serve, coddle and kiss Trump’s ass. They tell us he was treated like a “rock star.” Yet, Obama was the president who can sing.
Obama sang for the nation. Donald Trump only sings for himself. He’s in the wrong key and he’s out of time.
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