20 dead in El Paso. 9 dead in Dayton. This weekend Trump was largely missing. He gave a few comments on an airport tarmac. He tweeted a few things. But he did not address the American people in any substantial way.
Finally, this morning at 10:00am, he spoke to the American people from a teleprompter. Trump needs the teleprompter because he does not possess the moral resources to be able to speak extemporaneously or off-the-cuff about shootings like this. He needs others to give him the words of empathy, sympathy, compassion, righteous indignation–the stuff that comes from the soul of a virtuous man.
But even the people who write Trump speeches seem to have no clue. Consider:
Trump talked about the “perils” of the Internet and social media. Indeed, white supremacists use the Internet and social media to propagate hate. But Trump seemed incapable of understanding that he does the same thing. There was nothing in this speech about how Trump might be empowering these white supremacists through his own use of the Internet.
Trump calls for “bipartisan” efforts in solving gun control. This is a nice idea on paper, but as long as Donald Trump is in office this will not happen. Trump demonizes his political opponents. He tells them to go back to their own countries. He mocks the Democratic debates. He calls the Democrats names. He trashes people from Baltimore.
Trump says that video games glorify violence in America. Whatever one thinks about the violence of video games, it is pathetic that Donald Trump is talking about glorifying violence. Trump incites this violence at every rally. He laughs when a white nationalist in his audience says that we should shoot immigrants in El Paso.
Trump talked about the “dignity of every human life.” Seriously? How does Trump’s commitment to the “dignity of every human life” inform his views on immigration, refugees, his political opponents, Muslims, people who are not white, etc…?
He also said that the shooting took place in Toledo. How hard is it to get the right city in Ohio? The shooting took place in Dayton.
This speech was a national embarrassment. But hey–the economy is doing well.
ADDENDUM: I used the term “pathetic” in the title of this post. According to Merriam-Webster, the term “pathetic” has four definitions:
- “having a capacity to move one to either compassionate or contemptuous pity”
- “marked by sorrow or melancholy : SAD”
- “pitifully inferior or inadequate”
- “ABSURD, LAUGHABLE”
Just to be clear, Trump’s speech was a mixture of definitions 3 and 4.