On Tuesday night, POTUS tweeted, “May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived.” Twitter was furious, and not just for the glaring grammatical error. (The FBI and Law Enforcement have arrived, but we’ll forgive you on that one.) The real reason for Twitter’s fury is the fact that the shooting in Sutherland Springs was over a week ago. Since Tuesday’s mass shooting was in northern California, it appears that Trump has a template for tweets about mass shootings — and he forgot to switch out the location.
With a chaotic and heartbreaking news cycle that seems always to be full of mass shootings, natural disasters and sexual assault allegations, it can be difficult to keep everything straight. However, you’d think that the President of the United States would at least be able to fake that he’s aware of what’s going on in his country. (Actually, I take that back. I forgot who I was talking about for a second there.)
Trump has now deleted this tweet, presumably after he was told that he just wrote about the wrong mass shooting. pic.twitter.com/0qS77W1cut
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 15, 2017
It’s alarming just how bad Trump is at protecting his public image. There are plenty of politicians with questionable ideologies or iffy campaign promises. However, nobody even comes close to rivaling Trump’s ability to put his foot in his own mouth. It’s never taken much effort for Americans to find things to criticize Trump for–he finds them for us, really, and he has done so since the beginning of his term. Right off the bat, Trump delivered an inaugural speech that reportedly prompted George W. bush to say, “That was some weird shit.” (Touché, W.) and Trump’s weirdness hasn’t declined since then.
Earlier this week, he tweeted that Kim Jong Un is “short and fat”, but also that he wants to “be his friend.” And now, this tweet that offers condolences for the wrong mass shooting. Many Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, agree that when it comes to presenting himself to the public, Donald J. Trump is just off.
But maybe the most disconcerting thing about this tweet is that mass shootings occur so frequently in our country that it’s possible to mix them up. California marks America’s 317th mass shooting in 2017, and the US leads the nations in mass shootings. Although it’s easy to joke around about Trump’s incompetence when it comes to social media, we can’t allow it to distract us from the real issues. It is sadly almost guaranteed that Trump will have another opportunity to tweet his condolences to the victims of a mass shooting —but it’ll be deeply upsetting if he can’t direct them to the right people.