The reaction by politicians and pundits to this horrible-beyond-description tragedy in Connecticut exhausted my reserve tank of benefit-of-the-doubt. Severed fully was any last string of belief in the credibility and character of our national political leadership and in the leadership of a national media that at one time attempted at least a superficial willingness to “report” on national politics.
Cowardice instead emerges, and is dressed in tailored talking points and expressed with a sincerity emitting light but void of comforting heat or full illumination.
Indeed, cowardice is the right term for those who fear missing a chance to strengthen their political/religious cause and coffers if they failed to jump into a hyperbolic pandering pit before some Sandy Hook parents knew their world had turned black.
In the political world where cash is king, the best way to fill the bank is to maximize the message and immediately crank up the machine that taps the bank accounts of gullible party-line believers.
Therefore, the messages we received Friday within minutes of this horrible event were of a country with too many guns or not enough God. Or both. Considering the overt political leanings of the national media, too many guns is the answer du jour.
After wiping a tear from his eye, President Barack Obama on Friday pushed an anti-gun message. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blamed the tragedy on the removal of Christian messages and symbols from the national fabric.
Both of these men are disappointingly wrong. They would have done this country more of a service with their silence than to fully display their shallow political cores. Sometimes the best advice is just to shut up. Listen. Learn. Then lead.
We can pass 1,000 laws tomorrow that ban guns and/or boost God, and in a few years we’ll have another tragedy like Sandy Hook or Columbine or Jonesboro or Tucson or so on and so forth. The incomprehensible actions of humans will never be stifled with more, or even better, laws.
There is no attempt at offering a solution here. And that’s the point. We don’t yet have enough information to consider a rational response. We may find that fixing holes in our mental health system is a solution that most diminishes the chance of such horrendous violence.
For most of my 45 years there has been a promise to self to not become That Guy; that person who has given up on the process and is pessimistic to the extreme. Well, mark this up, ironically, to another promise broken through politics.
If the so-called U.S. political leadership and top-level media organizations have no problem politicizing this most horrific of events, then my faith is nil that they will ever exert responsible leadership on the numerous important socio-economic issues facing this country.
Do whatever you want with your gun rules and your God messages. It is clear my time is better spent doing more to secure my family than to rely on promises of protection delivered by politicians, pundits or preachers.