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Your Turn: Does it Matter How the President Reacts to a Crisis?

by AndreaSeabrook | 8.14.17

President Donald Trump's earliest, live reaction to the violence in Charlottesville was almost universally panned. Officials across the political spectrum -- and even within his own administration -- gave much stronger, unequivocal responses to the weekend's shocking display of hate and racism.

But does it matter? Is it critical that, in moments when Americans are asking, 'who are we?' that the president speak for the country?

Now, in his second live press conference on the matter, President Trump is updating his message with a more absolute statement, saying "racism is evil," (see full video below).

But his brief press conference hasn't gone over as well as his administration might have hoped, as evidenced by the news headlines describing it, such as this one on Time Magazine's site:

"Trump Condemns White Supremacists 2 Days After Charlottesville Violence"

On this question, The People's opinion is critical. It's Your Turn -- take the floor. Tell the Countable community what you think by leaving a comment below; we'll be reading your words and featuring many of your ideas in our news feed.

As always, we at Countable are deeply grateful for your care for this democracy.

-- Andrea Seabrook, Managing Editor of Countable

(Photo Credit: James McNellis via Wikimedia Commons

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(930)
  • bellac
    08/14/2017
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    Yes. Our President is supposed to set the tone, balance and explain the political belief and climate of the American country and by "subtly" enabling the behavior of the "Unite The Right" group he is saying to them that their violent bigotry is okay, saying to targeted minorites that he does not care about their safety and saying to other countries that America is a place that allows violence to people who are simply trying to survive (in a country that was never on their side to begin with). Donald Trump's acknowledgement of vocal and shameless Nazi's, Klansmen and more was that of a sympathizer. Pathetic.

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  • Onectgirl
    08/14/2017
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    Really...this is a question? Of course it matters...it's our presidents job to console and lead a country. By staying mum when any tragedy happens, it sends a message that our elected leader is either incapable or unwilling to lead a country.

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  • Deborah
    08/14/2017
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    He is a disgrace to our country ! Not speaking against white supremacy and kkk hate crimes shows he has no character and supports what happens! Just the fact he's going to pardon the Sheriff for illegal stops shows You his character! I'm disgusted by this racist administration!

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  • Keith
    08/14/2017
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    The president sets the tone for the rest of the country, so how he reacts in a crisis is highly critical. It's almost like there needs to be a test beforehand. But the way that the president has acted in response to Charlottesville is apprehensible. It takes him two days to condemn white supremacy, but all of two seconds to condemn Jim Acosta and CNN? Inexcusable. Unpresidential. Unamerican.

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  • Marcy
    08/14/2017
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    The inaugural speech of Donald Trump offered a dark, gloomy picture of the US, setting the stage and the tone for the violence and hatred that have followed. Yes, the President sets a tone and this one has been incoherent, ignorant, bellicose, and an outright liar - not the example we would hope for in our President. Even his latest statement about Charlottesville, obviously reading what someone else insisted that he say, lacked any conviction of truth.

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  • MFein10
    08/14/2017
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    In situations like the Charlottesville TERRORIST ATTACK, the president's reaction is of the utmost importance. The president has the ability to set the tone for how the country deals with crises. When the president barely reacts, it does not allow for progress to be made to prevent attacks like these from happening again. We The People need to demonstrate to our Congress that we care. We must speak out against hate! "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Linda
    08/14/2017
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    I can't believe this is even a question with a debatable answer. This country is really sinking to new lows with the supposed potus in office. Disgusting...or more precisely, despicable!

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  • Sally
    08/14/2017
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    Everyone knows Trump is a sexist, a racist, a swindler and Treasonous, as are many of his cronies. As far ad I am concerned, and Republican who defends him or tries to prevent justice is a nazi in spirit if not nane. This is Trump's legacy of hate and destruction.

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  • JayFeat
    08/14/2017
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    What is a president if they do not attempt to unite the nation in a time of crisis?

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  • Rick
    08/14/2017
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    This man feels he has no obligation to the people of America whatsoever, his semi-literate and dishonest words and actions have always and clearly indicated his only concern is himself, his and his families accumulation of wealth via the presidency and a shocking ignorance of history. This man child is unfit and unhinged as are his supporters. We've seen this fascist movie before and it doesn't end well.

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  • Gail
    08/14/2017
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    It matters when the President casually threatens nuclear war. It matters when the President embraces Nazis and Russia.

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  • Debbie
    08/15/2017
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    Donald Trump had the chance to speak to America, unifying us in our shock and outrage against the horrific results of the Alt Right demonstration in Charlottesville. He blew it. He continues to blow it. We have no leadership. It is America's shame.

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  • Ticktock
    08/14/2017
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    Yes, although he probably doesn't have a sincere bone in his body until the issue will benefit him financially he needs to make a response that defines the national position and feelings. But we know where he stands personally, the extreme right.

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  • Cleo
    08/15/2017
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    Donald Trump has spent years attacking the POTUS, world leaders and corporate leaders. He ran a campaign pledging he would make America great again, he presented himself as America's messiah. He is a total failure. The worst POTUS this country has ever elected and worst of all is his ignorance and failure to communicate. Not only has he disgraced this great country as POTUS, he is viewed as a narcissistic, bigoted, misogynist liar. The fact that this question needed to be asked is a sad state of affairs for America. Save us and the world before he destroys us all. Impeach him and let's move on.

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  • Roxanne
    08/14/2017
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    It matters very much how the President respond in times of crisis. Trump's response condemning the violence in Charlottesville was too little, too late.

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  • Ck1
    08/14/2017
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    It absolutely matters! Our president is the spokesperson and head of our country. They are not only listened to here, but around the world as well!

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  • HardcoreModerate
    08/15/2017
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    Of course it matters! The President is *supposed* to act like a leader. When he expresses stronger opinions about tv news anchors than he does about people threatening a new civil war (yes, slight hyperbole), he makes it very clear that he is not interested in leading.

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  • jasoncoble
    08/15/2017
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    Let’s not kid ourselves. He created this crisis during his campaign. He asked the HATE to come out from hiding. This man is soulless. This man needs to go to jail.

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  • Azrael
    08/14/2017
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    Critical to keep millions of people calm and collected during a crisis Millions of angry, scared and anxious people is a powder keg in need of a spark Yes it freakin matters

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  • AlexRoseSc
    08/14/2017
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    Words matter. Actions matter more. Words and actions together matter most of all. The President of The United States of America should always be the first leader to comment in a way that reflects our country's shared Democratic values. Donald Trump has never had a sense of morality in his life. He is a black hole. Don't take it from me, take it from the (unrelated/no blood or marriage tied) individuals that have known him or worked with/for him over the decades and shared with us how he treated them. It's obvious that Trump isn't mentally equipped to speak or act like a President. He's equipped to speak and act like a dictator. Which is exactly what he does. So if that's what he's going for, he's succeeding. Notice how he's never done a selfless thing in his life. This man isn't a good person. In summation, yes the Presidents words matter. They set the tone for the country and our country sets the tone for the rest of the world. Donald, I can't wait to celebrate with THE PEOPLE once WE, THE PEOPLE remove you from office. Based on your comments of the last week toward NK, you know as well as we all do that the day is coming soon. And it's going to be a great day.

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