Scoot: Is Trump following in Obama’s footsteps?

November 01, 2017 - 10:30 am

President Obama was highly criticized for pandering to his base and failing to reach out and bring America together in the wake of challenging times.  After major events, like the verdict in the Trayvon Martin/Geroge Zimmerman case and the violence in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD, President Obama seemed to lean more toward addressing the African-American community than all of America.  There were moments President Obama played to his ties with African-American voters.

President Trump appears to be guilty of the same rhetorical tendency.  Immediately following Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York City, President Trump used the tragedy to denounce Democrats and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, in particular.  The President’s first reaction to the terrorist attack on American soil was to blame the attack on the country’s loose immigration laws.

Of course, we should do all we can to tighten any immigration laws that permit easy access to our country by malicious-minded individuals; and we should strive for the most thorough vetting process possible.  By immediately turning his reaction to a terrorist attack into an opportunity to throw red meat to his voting base, though, President Trump demonstrated that he is willing to appeal to his political base rather than bring Americans together.

I was critical of President Obama for the missed opportunities to unite all Americans in the wake of tragedy, and I will be fair by criticizing President Trump for the same action.

Less than 24 hours after a deranged individual used a small truck as a weapon to kill and injure innocent people walking and biking in New York City, President Trump tweeted about our immigration policies.

The President supports a merit based visa system that considers English language skills, work skills, country nationality and other criteria in determining who is granted a visa; but that’s not part of this discussion.  There may be benefits to a merit based visa system, but this discussion is about ill-timed political rhetoric.

President Trump instinctively politicized the tragedy in New York City and opportunistically used the event to pander to his base while trying to distract from the negative news about a few individuals that worked on the Trump Campaign.

I know the argument – President Obama politicized events as well.  True.  But does that excuse a new president from doing the same thing?  Bold leaders do not act out of revenge or payback for what their predecessors did.  Bold leaders do what should be done, and using a terrorist attack on American soil as a launching pad fire attacks at political opponents is NOT the work of a bold leader.

Trump loyalists, not all those who voted for Trump, but Trump loyalists, will fail to acknowledge the hypocrisy and support President Trump for doing what President Obama was criticized for doing.  And this is the sad reality of America, circa 2017.

Early Wednesday morning, November 9, 2016, hours after Donald Trump was declared the winner in the presidential election, Trump spoke these words:

I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.  I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans and this is so important to me.”

What happened to that promise?


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