Battenfeld: UK atrocity puts politics on the shelf

In Politics
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The U.S. could learn a lesson from the Brits and how they are handling the horrific Manchester terror attack targeted at children.

No politics. No campaigning. No blaming.

The politicians in the U.K., in the final weeks of a brutal election campaign, have immediately suspended all national campaigning until further notice. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel canceled a campaign beer rally yesterday.

And the people in the U.K. are banding together around the city of Manchester and the victims of the terrorist bombing at an Ariana Grande concert. Thousands of donations are pouring in to an online crowdfunding campaign.

We should do the same. The attack in Manchester could have happened here. There are no boundaries in the war against sadistic and cowardly terrorists.

All American flags here should be lowered to honor the bombing victims. Politicians — both Democrats and Republicans — should get together to figure out even better ways to protect the citizens, especially at large gatherings like concerts.

And most importantly, everyone should take a break from their pointless and childish war of Facebook rants and Twitter posts to make a simple statement: #prayforManchester. There is nothing more important than acknowledging the pain that the victims and the people of that proud city must be going through.

The attack on Monday stands out even from other terrorist atrocities because of its sickening brutality. It’s hard to imagine a more cowardly act than trying to kill defenseless children who were joyfully getting out of a concert. One victim was an 8-year-old girl.

But, sadly, the divisions and hatred in this country since the election of Donald Trump seem too deep to even agree on that.

While the victims in Manchester are still being identified, here in the U.S. it seems like it’s already business as usual. CNN has quickly reverted back to its usual “Breaking News” on the all-consuming Russia investigation. And Massachusetts Democrats unleashed their usual over-the-top press releases yesterday, calling it a “sad day in Massachusetts.”

No, not sad because 22 people, including children, were slaughtered. U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, in a display of bad timing and judgment, was sad because of the Trump budget, calling it a “heartless attack on hardworking families.”

And in the State House, another politician yesterday had the audacity to denounce another “attack” — this one referring to a budget amendment to cut the state film tax credit.

Yes, leave it to a Massachusetts pol, in this case House Majority Leader Ron Mariano, to complain about a budget amendment that could take money out of film studios’ pockets a day after one of the most senseless terror attacks yet.

It’s time to leave the “attack” metaphors on the shelf, can the hyperbole and hyper-partisanship, and at least for one day, focus on the reality of what happened in Manchester.



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