‘When I’m elected President…’
By LPR Staff
When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I fully expected it to be a somber, reflective sort of day.
I started through my morning routine – prying the cat off my head, putting the dog outside and starting the water for the coffee and then turning on the news. I fully expected to smoke a cigarette, sip on my coffee and watch coverage of the memorial cerem
onies in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa. I thought maybe I might see a little bit of information about the Senate hearings with Gen. Petraeus, and that someone might tell me something about the new Osama Bin Laden tape.
And for a minute there, everything went exactly as I expected it to.
But before I finished the first sip of coffee, about halfway through the first cigarette, and while the cat was still swatting the sleep out of his eyes, everything changed.
Somber reflection became bitter sniping. American unity became partisan politics and mourning turned into blame.
The tone shifted thanks to one – in my view ill-advised comment – from a Presidential candidate.
“When I’m elected President, I will find Bin Laden and kill him.”
Now, unless I’ve missed a memo in the last six years, the President himself is not actually hunting terrorists. That’s what our American troops are up to. And unless I’ve misunderstood my reading of national and international news, American officials have viewed Bin Laden as a threat since approximately 1984.
So why, all of a sudden, would this particular candidate suddenly find himself qualified to pick up a weapon, hunt the most feared terrorist leader in recent history and succeed in killing him where a dozen administrations and thousands of trained soldiers have failed?
Perhaps he thought a strong position would curry favor with voters. Maybe someone told him that in our collective mourning over the loss of more than 3,000 souls on American soil, pointing out his potential predecessors’ shortcomings would seem attractive.
Or perhaps the candidate is as un-American as un-American can be.
I’m inclined to believe the latter.
No politician should have dared disturbed the sanctity of a national day of mourning with political pandering. Other than being disrespectful, it’s very simply in poor taste.
Largely, the folks that died that day died, not because of who they are or the party line they toed, but simply because of where they were that morning. There was no regard for Democrats or Republicans, men or women, soldiers, civilians or public servants. When push comes right to shove, there wasn’t even any regard as to whether the victims were even American citizens. If I remember correctly, some 52 countries were represented among the dead.
To my mind, there is no real excuse, on that day of all days, to take the focus of those simple facts and try to further divide our country. Division, infighting and ultimately hatred are the very things that made us susceptible to attack in the first place. And on that day of all days, those emotions should not be fostered or felt, let alone encouraged.
For the record, the candidate speaking the words that made my blood boil is, in fact, a candidate in the party I generally favor. In fact, he’s a candidate I was thinking of supporting. But his comments on Tuesday morning changed my mind.
And I truly hope that the candidates vying for election next September don’t make the same mistake. I hope they keep their eyes on the ball.