We stand with France and we always will, just as France has stood with us from the very founding of our republic.

We are all vulnerable to the acts of sociopaths, no matter where, no matter what “ideology” they espouse. When it happened to us on 9/11, we all stood together. Politicizing such a tragedy at that time was not on anyone’s agenda. We were one. Even after it was learned later that President Bush had solid warnings from intelligence services, we remained one in the face of a common enemy.

Within a mere few hours of the present tragedy, we witnessed a bizarre and unseemly competition among Republican “presidential” candidates to slam and lay blame on President Obama, portraying him as naïve and uncaring in the face of sociopaths. I find it offensive to the maximum, wholly un-American, and serving no purpose other than to score some sort of political points and giving aid and comfort to sociopaths/terrorists everywhere as they rejoice in dividing us. 

All of these “presidential” candidates claimed to be so much smarter than the president, to know so much more about the complex circumstances than he does. And then they compete to belittle the president in the most disrespectful terms they can think of. I did not hear a single one express solidarity with the people of France, or exercise any sense of decorum with regard to the tragedy. Next came the cheerleading for the possibility of an attack here in the U.S. to reinforce their blaming the president. Disgusting.

I support the French people, and I support President Obama to take the best course of action for our nation and for people everywhere in a world full of sociopaths. The coalition of countries on the front line, with our support and leadership, has indeed made progress in fencing in those sociopaths and taking out much of the leadership. The president has wisely avoided making the mistakes made in the past.

As for the Republican “presidential” candidates, in the face of a common enemy, they have been anything but presidential. They conveniently ignore or distort facts. By their conduct, they have pandered to the basest instincts of hate, fear, and xenophobia. 

In a time of crisis, that’s not leadership, not even close. 

Richard Katz

Oak Park

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