In less than 24 hours, our country experienced two horrific acts of domestic terrorism in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. These were evil acts by individuals with warped views of the world. They believed that the act of killing random, innocent people would somehow advance their view of the world. It did not and will not. No person or organization is responsible for these acts, only the two vicious persons who performed them.
What is important going forward is how we as Americans react and come together to support those who lost loved ones. This is not a time to blame, but to investigate and learn. This should be a time we set aside differences and not play politics or try to gain advantage over other Americans.
However, if you have watched even a few minutes of television or read certain presidential candidate interviews, some have shown no shame. Unfortunately some of the news commentators and national news reporters are echoing some of these divisive views that are meant to gain a political advantage and split our country. The politicians and their supporters are all in at calling names and assigning blame, but even worse, they have attempted to gin up campaign dollars on the backs of the dead and grieving.
Just when we thought politicians could not stoop to any nethermost extremes, they find a way. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent an email to supporters Monday, signed by former Rep. Gabby Giffords, encouraging donors to “split” a donation of $10 to $200 between the DNC and Giffords’ Political Action Committee (PAC).
On Sunday afternoon, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA., also sent out a fundraising email citing the shootings, with the subject line: “No more thoughts and prayers.” “If you’re with me, split a contribution to Giffords, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said she’s “heartbroken” about the shootings, which left 31 people dead, then asked for money for Sens. Doug Jones (D-AL) and Tina Smith (D-MN) in their respective Senate campaigns. “I’ll fight my heart out to make sure Democrats win up and down the ballot in 2020 – but if we’re going to beat Republicans and the gun lobby, it’s going to take a grassroots movement. Will you chip in today to help Democrats flip the Senate? Your donation will be split among funds that will go to the eventual Democratic Senate nominees in 23 races and Sen. Doug Jones and Tina Smith.”
What sincerity does one find in statements of sympathy when they are immediately followed by fundraising efforts? It appears that politics takes a front seat to the loss of those that politicians say they want to represent.
This should be a time that we are politically neutral and pause to acknowledge the loss of life and support those left behind. Shame on the self-serving individuals who seek to gain from reprehensible acts of violence.