America’s President as official mourner
‘They don’t grieve; therefore, they don’t give a damn,’ may become the most enduring indictment of a political party in US History.
‘It’s not about saving democracy, it’s about grieving.’ Republicans may be excused of perpetrating authoritarianism, but denying victim families the space and respect to grieve is inexcusable and displays cruelty.
Emotionally speaking, the store is closed, the shelves are ransacked, and the thieves have left without leaving a note.
No acknowledgment, no remorse.
Too bad Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t up for re-election for another three years. This week he’d be defeated and disqualified by Texan voters, whatever their gerrymandered district.
“The best deterrent to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” was the Cruz takeaway, repeating Wayne LaPierre, former CEO of the National Rifle Association, uttered during the recent NRA conference, less than 100 hours after a military style assault on a room of Texan fourth graders.
To call out Cruz’s takeaway as ‘tone deaf’ hides the absurdity of Cruz’s claim.
Pause and complete the sentence, “If my Senator said this…”
Texan Governor Greg Abbott who is up for re-election and trying to bury his last epic show of public contempt and incompetence — a state wide utility failure two winters ago — cautioned reporters not to “politicize” this moment.
Oh, I forgot, the purpose of this news conference is to remind us how to remove state leaders of any accountability for what just happened.
Grief can be so blinding, so intense that the ancient Greek playwrights employed a chorus to articulate the enormity of feeling for the audience: a stand-in emoting and grieving collective.
In modern times amidst the noise and rumblings of a society eager to get on with surviving, flowers and votive candles, placed sentinel-like at street corners, driveway medians and nearby places of reflection and recreation remind one of the loss.
To ease its pain, fortunately America has a Griever-in-Chief, an unofficial official mourner, the President.
For the Griever-in-Chief funerals require attending, publicly comforting survivors, redeeming loss which is impossible to redeem. Funerals are “collective closure” for those remaining, for the survivors, for the witnesses who are grieving.
No President or Vice President in recent times has visited more community mass murder funerals than President Joe Biden. On Sunday, May 29, it was Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, across lower Texas from the aforementioned NRA Convention. Here lie America’s children caught in a society that can’t protect them, in a school that is so painful a memory, it may be selected for demolition.
“I can’t dictate this (gun control) legislation,” was the shout-out to the press as the President and the First Lady left Uvalde, Texas.
Indeed, America is attending another funeral.
A tragedy has occurred and it’s unclear who the ‘survivors’ are.