No matter how “not as bad as we feared” President Donald Trump may be appearing, as we close out the year let’s remember why some of us did not trust him in the first place: his knee-jerk reactions are too often witlessly statist.
The speeding Amtrak train that derailed over I-5 in Washington State on Monday was a horror show, sure. And we have come to expect the President — any President, either party, all administrations — to provide words of comfort after such events. Trump conformed to expectations.
And, admittedly, his initial Tweet was all very proper. But his verbal response was . . . very . . . Old School. After mentioning the federal government’s role in handling the tragedy — “monitoring” and “coordinating with local authorities” — he used the event as an excuse to expound upon the idea that the event provides “all the more reason why we must start immediately fixing the infrastructure of the United States.”
This is bad, old-fashioned policy opportunism. The worst time to cook up “solutions” is right after a tragedy. That’s when emotions are highest and reason is lowest.
More importantly, the train was going through its initial run over newly upgraded infrastructure!
One could more reasonably surmise that the recent infrastructure upgrade was the cause of the derailment — though, let us be honest, it looks like the train was way above the stretch’s speed limit.
Note to Donald Trump: just because there’s a microphone in front of you doesn’t mean you are required to “make a point.” That’s not the President’s job.
Mister, we could use a man like . . . Calvin Coolidge again.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.