Jimmy Kimmel Has No Patience for Trump’s Empty Words Following Wednesday’s Tragic School Shooting
Jimmy Kimmel may not have started out as an overtly political comedian, but it speaks volumes to the state of the country that this has been the natural path for how he uses his late night platform. When Kimmel’s newborn son was diagnosed with a heart defect right around the time Republicans were waging war on the ACA, how could he not take on that fight? Kimmel is still a comedian, but he uses his voice to keep his audiences informed and to encourage them to take action and communicate with their elected representatives.
That’s what he did in his opening monologue last night when he addressed the tragic shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, and Trump’s reaction to it. Trump gave a speech in which he offered the least comforting condolences possibly ever uttered in his entirely unsoothing monotone, all the while managing to not say the word “gun” once. (He did say the word “gunfire” at one point.)
Kimmel showed a clip of Trump’s speech, saying he actually agreed with a couple of his points: namely, that “no child or teacher should ever be in danger while at school” and that “no parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning.”
Kimmel said in response, “I agree with both of those statements.” Of course he does. But agreeing isn’t enough. Because it’s easy to say “no one should have to go through this.” But Trump is in a position to actually do something about this sort of tragedy, and he isn’t.
So Kimmel offered a suggestion: “So here’s what you do to fix that,” he said. “Tell your buddies in Congress, tell Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, all the family men who care so much about their communities, that what we need are laws, real laws, that do everything possible to keep assault rifles out of the hands of people who are going to shoot our kids. Go on TV and tell them to do that.”
Because, as Kimmel points out, that’s exactly what Trump convinced far too many Americans he was going to do. “That’s a perfect example of the common sense you told us you were going to bring to the White House.” All those “Washington insiders” that make up that “swamp” Trump was always talking about, they’re just lining their pockets with money from gun lobbyists and spewing the same line of “don’t politicize tragedies” and “too soon.”
Kimmel choked back tears as he continued, “Children are being murdered. Do something. We still haven’t talked about it. You still haven’t done anything about this. Nothing. You’ve literally done nothing. Actually, you’ve done worse than nothing.” Because Trump won’t say the word gun, but he’ll talk a lot about mental health. Yet one of his first acts as president was to unto Obama-era regulations meant to keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally ill. They also voted to repeal mandates on mental health coverage.
That is worse than doing nothing.
Of Trump and the rest of these politicians in the pocket of gun lobbyists, Kimmel said, “Somewhere along the line, these guys forgot they work for us, not the NRA. Us. And this time, we’re not gonna allow you to bow your head in prayer for two weeks until you get an all-clear and we move on to the next thing.”
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