One of the more unpleasant but necessary jobs of any president is to show empathy when national tragedies occur. Presidents have mourned with their countrymen and women following environmental disasters, terrorist attacks, and school shootings. Former president Obama generally handled this undesirable task with great aplomb and sincere sympathy.
Following the horrific elementary school shooting in San Bernadino, California on Monday, Trump had an opportunity to show some class and come across as a man with a heart by sending out a message of condolence to those affected. However, it would appear that elementary school shootings are not high enough up on his list of concerns to even garner a simple tweet.
Yes, the same Trump who Tweets about such unimportant minutiae such as Saturday Night Live sketches and Rosie O’Donnell’s looks, apparently felt no need to offer comfort to the grief-stricken. Perhaps, one might object, there are too many significant events happening at the moment to allow Trump to spend the necessary seconds to send consolation.
Certainly, issues in Syria and North Korea could potentially be seen as significant. However, since the shooting, Trump has taken the time to tweet: “Happy Passover”, congratulations to his Supreme Court appointment, and a Fox News story about how some Syrians are so grateful for the recent bombing of Assad that they plan to name their children Donald.
Yes, Trump’s non-response was completely in line with his character, which is to say, none.