American Carnage

“Your child isn’t going to be shot,” Donald Trump vowed. It was a promise he could never have kept—but there’s no evidence he even tried. / Reuters

In his inaugural address, Donald Trump declared, “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” He knew it would not. We know it did not.

“I’ll be able to make sure that when you walk down the street in your inner city, or wherever you are, you’re not going to be shot,” he declared during the campaign. “Your child isn’t going to be shot.” He has not been able to make sure of that––ask any parent whose children were caught up in any of the recent school shootings.

Trump gave those credulous enough to believe him false hope.

“The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end,” he vowed at the Republican National Convention. “Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.” But safety was not restored that day. Neither crime nor violence ended. The vow was a cynical ploy to get votes.

It worked.

And now, sadly but predictably, Trump has been proven wrong again. At least 17 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Florida high school. Children were killed.

Earlier in his tenure, a gunman in Las Vegas killed 58 and injured 851 in the deadliest mass shooting ever committed in the United States. Trump had no plan to stop such an attack, nor did he do anything after the fact that would prevent a similar attack. Such attacks are beyond anyone’s capacity to wholly eliminate, but no one else rose to power falsely promising they could stop such things.

Had Trump had a plan, had he attempted an innovative solution and failed, that would be forgivable—but he never had any viable strategy for keeping his promises.

And that he purported to be able to end carnage only to have so many slaughtered by a domestic terrorist––that he claimed he could stop children from being shot only to see multiple school shootings occur during his presidency––is a reality check for the country: None of his assurances can be counted upon.

His talent is bluffing, not delivering results.

This country needs to make alternative plans for American greatness, because the president who disingenuously promised to end carnage isn’t going to deliver elsewhere either. He won’t end the opiate crisis. He isn’t going to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. He makes lots of promises that he cannot possibly keep.

Often, he’s not even trying.