After a night of carnage in Las Vegas, President Trump tweeted his response to the worst shooting in U.S. history.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
There’s something really off about this. Who tweets “warmest condolences” and “God bless you!” to families of the now-50 (and possibly more) dead from this horrible act? This is the kind of sentiment you offer to the family of a person who just died at a ripe old age of natural causes, not people gunned down in the street.
But nobody ever said Trump as “good with words.” Or that he had “normal human empathy.” As one Twitter user responded to me.
I'm quite critical of Trump, but at some point, I have to accept that the man is terrible with words and has little/no capacity for normal human empathy. At least he tried. (Yes, I know that's an extremely low bar, but it is what it is.)
— Ben Lewis (@benelou) October 2, 2017
The. Best. Words.
— Susan_Wright [Insufficiently Partisan] (@SweetieWalker) October 2, 2017
Other world leaders who have responded on Twitter offered similar sentiments, including those who Trump slammed when mass killings happened in their own country.
A deeply sad day for the city of Las Vegas. London sends our condolences to the victims and their families.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) October 2, 2017
The UK’s thoughts are with the victims and the emergency services responding to the appalling attack in Las Vegas.
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) October 2, 2017
Remember what the “law and order” presidential candidate tweeted after the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting (that’s now the second deadliest mass shooting on U.S. soil)?
Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 14, 2016
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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
As I covered this story, I fought tears. I don’t think Trump cries over these kinds of things. I don’t think he sees the human angle. Not in Puerto Rico, and not in Las Vegas. When people die in horrible ways, he reacts like an automaton.
This evidence of a basic lack of empathy, along with his penchant for choosing words poorly, does not give much hope to Americans looking for compassion. These are not just faults we can ignore. They are core issues of Trump’s qualifications–or fitness, you could say–to do the job of the office he occupies.
We should be very concerned.