Never in the 1,227 days of Trump’s presidency has the nation seemed to cry out for leadership as it did Sunday, yet Trump made no attempt to provide it.
That was by design. Trump and some of his advisers calculated that he should not speak to the nation because he had nothing new to say and had no tangible policy or action to announce yet, according to a senior administration official. Evidently not feeling an urgent motivation Sunday to try to bring people together, he stayed silent…
It is an open question, too, whether Trump aspires to unite. There is ample evidence that he does not, as he built a political strategy around pitting groups against one another and declaring winners and losers.
“The rioting in the streets has put an exclamation point on what this president cannot do: To bring people around and say we are all in this together,” said Tom Rath, a longtime Republican official and former attorney general in New Hampshire. “On his automatic transmission, there is one speed. It is not conciliate. It is not comfort. It is not forge consensus. It is attack. And the frustration right now is that nobody is in charge. Anarchy rules.”