The two presumptive major-party candidates came out the day after five police officers were senselessly and brutally gunned down in Dallas while, ironically, they were seeking to keep the peace at an anti-police rally. The lone gunman responsible for the five deaths clarified during a standoff that his motivation was pure, unadulterated racism: He “wanted to kill white people.”
In the aftermath of this outage, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump both issued public reactions. Clinton chose as her platform an African Methodist Episcopal Convention in Philadelphia, where she was noisily introduced. Trump, lambasted nonstop by the Left for his bombastic manner, chose the quiet dignity of his Trump Tower office.
Clinton behaved like the quintessential politician, quoting Barack Obama, who himself politicized the shootings. At one point during her “sermon,” she told the crowd, “We cannot, we must not vilify police officers,” but then added for their delectation:
White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day. We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes.
She went on to touch all the liberal bases, criminal justice reform, gun control, and the ongoing systemic bias against blacks.
Trump, for his part, cancelled a Miami event, where he was expected to address Hispanic issues. Instead, he called the Dallas attack a “coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe.”
He reminded the viewer that the total twelve cops who were shot are “not just police officers”:
They’re mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, and they’re all on my mind today…. A brutal attack on our police force is an attack and an attack on our families. We must stand in solidarity with law enforcement, which we must remember is the force between civilization and total chaos.
Trump didn’t neglect to mention the shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, but he mentioned them in the larger perspective of the need to unify America.
Interestingly, Trump, like Clinton, was reading from a prepared script instead of just winging it. For once, he sounded presidential. Maybe this is something he should begin doing more?