Saturday, June 22, 2024

President Donald Trump lands in Pennsylvania for a 9/11 remembrance in a photo tweeted by The New York Times’ Doug Mills. Click through for the original tweet and see it below.

Everything about President Donald Trump’s behavior Tuesday – the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed some 3,000 people – suggests he has no idea what actually happened on the day he’s honoring in his role as moral leader of the country. His emphatic, exclamatory tweets, thumbs-up to cheering crowds, bizarrely exultant behavior upon landing in New York, lauding of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani as a “true warrior” and, worst of all, literally meaningless boast that the victims “turned the tide on our nation’s enemies” are strong evidence of his actual cluelessness about an event seared on the national consciousness. (“Turned the tide on our nation’s enemies”? Seriously, what does that even mean?)

Trump, a teetotaler, doesn’t need alcohol to be a top participant in the Comedy Central series “Drunk History,” in which purposely liquored-up celebrities try to recount historical events they know little about. What they get wrong is funny because there are no stakes; no one’s turning to soused Alia Shawkat and Aubrey Plaza for the facts on Alexander Hamilton. But we do hold elected officials accountable for acknowledging the solemnity of our moments of secular sacredness – and less than two decades on, 9/11 isn’t yet in the same category as a pro wrestling match.

What a brilliant idea to get Trump to do weekly extemporaneous addresses in which he explains his take on historical events, allowing the electorate to understand what motivates him to act out in such staggeringly inappropriate ways. His oblivious crassness might even eventually offend the Trump dead-enders who make up his loyal base of approval in polls. That is, if anything can in an age when Republicans think it’s patriotic to say they’d rather be Russian than Democrats.

This post was updated Sept. 12, 2018, to correct that President Donald Trump was seen in Pennsylvania in a photo, not in New York.