One of the significant and most challenging duties of the President of the United States is to lead and console in times of tragedy. It is a solemn and important responsibility, one for which few are fully prepared. There is no training, no script, no blueprint for success. It all begins with a genuine sense of caring, empathy, and kindness. For better or for worse, whatever the reason, defect or not, Donald Trump lacks those qualities and abilities. He will not or cannot console those grieving and suffering through tragedy. Maybe he really doesn’t care about other people.
The victims in the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh were slaughtered for one reason – they were Jewish and happened to be attending services that Saturday morning. President Trump certainly did not authorize or encourage this despicable attack. However, he has set the conditions for heinous acts like this to occur and we see a succession of such atrocity in our country on his watch. President Trump is culpable in the hate and violence because he refuses to condemn it. He knows the white nationalist movement and related extremists find comfort in his rhetoric. They have become energized and aggressive. They believe he is one of them. Consequently, Trump is complicit in their actions at least and until he condemns them and disavows any support for their putrid cause.
President Trump should not have visited Pittsburgh. The community, specifically the grieving families, did not want him there. This was not partisan politics. Presidents, regardless of party and regardless of the politics of the affected community, shed politics and focus on comfort and healing. This was about fomenting hate and discord. President Trump refused to condemn the white nationalists and extremists preaching violence against Jews and others. His staff, including daughter Ivanka, had to force him to make a statement in response to the shooting. Unfortunately, he chose to blame the victims with no mention whatsoever of those who foment hate and violence. If he could not condemn the reprehensible violence and hate that caused these heinous murders, then he should not have visited the community suffering directly from it. Most people simply wanted to grieve before the President visited and he could not even respect that. President Trump, you did not belong there. You do not belong there or in any other such community until you learn the consequences of your vile rhetoric.
Peace to the grieving families, the Tree of Life congregation, and to the community. Know the country, and all of the good people herein, support you and condemn hatred and violence. The President does not speak for us.