Donald Trump Needs To Get His Priorities Straight

by Cate Carrejo

Donald Trump had yet another major social media blunder Sunday morning that might seem insignificant, but actually shows how out of touch the Republican candidate really is. In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida Saturday night, Trump tweeted out one factual statement about the incident, then immediately switched topics back to himself. "Clinton made a false ad about me where I was imitating a reporter GROVELING after he changed his story. I would NEVER mock disabled. Shame!" Trump tweeted just a few hours after news of the shooting broke. A massive, collective eye roll is implied, but beneath the general annoyance with Trump's continued public relevance, there's actual reason to be angry about this. Trump needs to get his priorities straight and focus on the country instead of himself.

First of all, Trump did mock a disabled person, the whole world saw the video. Second, sending a tweet as a way to refute a supposedly false ad is nothing more than showboating. It accomplishes nothing except riling up his base, and should be a pretty obvious indicator that Trump isn't in this campaign to make change, just make noise. Third, it's incredibly disrespectful to the citizens of the country he hopes to lead to switch his focus away from the nation's worst mass shooting in history just to talk about your own campaign. 51 percent of Americans support stricter gun control, and blatantly ignoring that majority, which Trump claims to represent, shows just how backwards his campaign is.

But it makes total sense that Trump would want to shift the rhetoric away from the Orlando shooting, since it doesn't mesh well with his anti-LGBTQ, pro-gun control campaign platform. It's a lose-lose situation for Trump, since he can't alienate his ultra-conservative base or risk further alienating the liberal Republicans and conservative independents he needs to win the general. So instead, he's apparently just going to ignore it and steer the conversation elsewhere. It's the same tactic many conservatives use when addressing the latest mass shooting — the conversation "really" is about mental health care or terrorism, despite the fact that Republicans deny funding for mental health care and block laws that would prevent potential terrorists from accessing guns. And if the world got an honest, realistic answer from Trump about America's gun control system actually needing to change, well he wouldn't really be Trump anymore, would he?

Trump eventually followed up the tweet with another update on the Florida shooting, which might be even more insensitive than his previous Trump-centric statement. "Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?" Trump posted to his page a few hours after his previous tweet. Interesting statement from the guy who has aligned himself with the party that wants less regulation on gun access. If Trump really wants to "get tough, smart & vigilant" on guns, it's not too late for a policy overhaul that will likely save American lives.