Patti Davis—daughter of late President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan—wrote in an OpEd for The Washington Post that President Donald Trump is incapable of providing comfort after tragedy.
Davis, an author and actress, stated:
"This President will never offer comfort, compassion or empathy to a grieving nation. It’s not in him. When questioned after a tragedy, he will always be glib and inappropriate."
"So I have a wild suggestion: Let’s stop asking him. His words are only salt in our wounds."
She wrote of her own father's words after the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Davis also reflected on the words of President Bill Clinton after the mass shooting at Columbine, President George W. Bush after 9/11 and President Barack Obama after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook.
"Ronald Reagan has not been the only president to offer comfort and solace to a grieving nation.... Each spoke eloquently, with somber compassion and with reverence for the pain of the victims and the shock of a saddened country."
"Our grief was reflected in their eyes. We didn’t doubt that their hearts were breaking along with ours."
But she found the 45th President's compassion and empathy lacking in his responses. Davis wrote:
"Now, after a week of fear, with pipe bombs being sent to a list of people whom President Trump has said horrible things about, and to CNN, which he consistently targets, 11 Jewish citizens were slaughtered in their place of worship on the Sabbath."
"Trump’s response? He joked that he almost canceled an event because, after having to speak to reporters about the shooting in the rain, he was having 'a bad hair day'."
"Yes, I know, he first read what was scripted for him and called the act 'evil'. But he has also called Democrats, others who oppose him and the news media evil. The word doesn’t hold much meaning coming from him."
Davis took exception to the President's repeating of a known National Rifle Association (NRA) talking point after mass shootings: their "good guy with a gun" suggestion. In her OpEd, Davis wrote:
"After 11 worshippers were gunned down, massacred because they were Jewish, Trump said there should have been an armed guard inside. He said the death penalty should be toughened. And then, later, he made his joke about having a bad hair day and tweeted about a baseball game."
President Trump often is accused of being a narcissist. But is he?
According to psychology and psychiatric references:
"[The] hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration."
"People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on grandiose fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment.”
"People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are superior or special... Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat..."
Many others found Trump's response to recent attacks against citizens of the United States inadequate as well.
If the President is a narcissist as many who know him claim, empathy and sympathy truly would be beyond his grasp.
In her Washington Post OpEd, Davis wrote:
"Where does a grieving nation turn for comfort when the man who occupies the White House offers none? Our hearts are hurting. Places of worship are meant to be sanctuaries, not slaughterhouses. America is not supposed to be awash in fear."
"...we’re all responsible now for tending to one another’s wounds, and if you stay blind to what those wounds are, you can’t help. Ignorance is not an option these days. This is a time for all of us to lead with the courage and compassion that is missing at the highest levels of our government."