The “Weak” in U.S. Politics: The way a candidate responds to a tragedy gives you a good idea of who they are; so how did Trump, Clinton, and Sanders respond to the Orlando shooting?
The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Alexandra Tselios
Tragedies can reveal the true core of a leader; providing us with insight around how they can handle not only the activity required to prevent further tragedies but simply to placate a scared public. So watching a person who is trying to get the top job in the U.S. respond to a tragedy with a “told you so” tweet just reeks grossly of an opportunistic candidate. I am of course talking about Donald Trump and his recent tweeting activity in response to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, saying:
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Social media was quick to condemn the tweet, with Trump eventually tweeting in response to Obama’s refusal to use the term “Islamic Terrorism” despite saying it was absolutely an act of “terrorism.” Trump continued to tweet throughout the day ending with “What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough”. Some commentators, including an op-ed via The New Yorker, claim Trump exploited the Orlando tragedy.
Hillary Clinton responded by saying that “Hate has absolutely no place in America” and “We will continue to fight for your right to live freely, openly, and without fear.” Hillary’s response has been met with applause when placed side by side to Trump’s statements. However, some Trump supporters believe Trump is saying what some Americans are currently feeling, ultimately reflecting on the scared constituents who resonate with his views.
Bernie Sanders released a statement about the “unthinkable shootings” reiterating Clinton’s alliance to the LGBT community by saying “All Americans are horrified, disgusted and saddened by the horrific atrocity in Orlando. … From what is now known, this was a terrorist act by an ISIS sympathizer. That despicable and barbaric organization must be destroyed.”
Some reports are suggesting similarities between the Orlando nightclub shooting and the 2015 San Bernardino attacks, with many Americans hoping comments from candidates will seek to unite the country rather than sow division and fear. In saying that, I think that many Americans are concerned that the terminology used by some media and politicians downplays the involvement of IS in the incident (who has claimed the attacks as their work). The wording is crucial, however, with terminology around what should be “destroyed,” the marker in the metaphoric line in the sand, as seen with Sanders’ response that it is the destruction of the barbaric organization as opposed to implementing the generalized “ban” as suggested by Trump, who has again called for a temporary ban on Muslim migration while not referencing that this attack in particular was against the LGBT community. Extremism should be addressed but so should the prevalent homophobia sweeping America. It is during times like these when the need for a leader to understand the complexities of a situation is crucial, rather than make sweeping statements to assert power and dominion, in a time where autocratic leadership with zero education or understanding of various positions, is most likely to fail in moving America forward.
The “Weak” in Politics as seen by Roger Pugh
Heard at Democratic Party HQ
“I see the Republican Party is consolidating behind Trump.”
“I’m amazed. As politicians, they’ve got a lot more in common with Hillary.”
Heard at Hillary’s Campaign HQ
“Bernie seems determined to take the race for the nomination all the way to the Convention.”
“He’s obviously looking forward to huge retirement party.”
Heard in Hollywood
“How can we eliminate the possibility of the Bushes ever producing another President?”
“Cutting off all their family branches.”
Heard in a Santa Monica Sports Bar
“What are the chances of a serious Third Party candidate in the Presidential election?”
“About the same as a serious First or Second Party candidate.”
Heard at Republican Party HQ
“Hillary is claiming that Trump is unfit to be President.”
“Don’t worry, there’s only a 50% chance she’s telling the truth.”
Heard at Fox News
“What do you think has been Obama’s main contribution to the U.S. Presidency?”
“He’s certainly added some color.”