Tom Kean, Jr. is the Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives in the New Jersey Seventh Congressional District. He is running against incumbent Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski.
Kean, Jr. has a Facebook page, Tom Kean, Jr. “Politician” where he opines at length on the inflation that is adding to the cost of living of American families. He calls it “Bidenflation.” He also has a Twitter account.
Yes, Americans may or may not vote their pocketbooks this November about losing dollars to the inflation that is an international problem. But they certainly will also vote their lives, and the lives of their children as well, and will vote to be free of the gun violence that endangers their lives on a daily basis.
Tom Kean, Jr. offers no solutions to inflation, just empty rhetoric. On the issue that is uniquely American, however, namely the mass shootings that are costing American families lives, not just dollars, the Facebook page of Tom Kean, Jr., Politician and his Twitter account say nothing.
Americans know that some day when the inflation is over, they will gain back their lost dollars. They will never get back the lives of their parents, husbands, wives, and children lost to mass shootings. Of the loss of dollars, Tom Kean acknowledges concerns on his Facebook page and Twitter account. On the loss of lives, Tom Kean, Jr. says nothing.
American families are living tonight in a state of terror as to the possibility of family loss of lives due to mass shootings. By contrast, Tom Kean, Jr. is living in a state of terror as to the possibility of losing his treasured favorable rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is the Washington patron of the campaign of Tom Kean, Jr. It is obvious that the jackal pack of McCarthy-provided political gurus have Tom Kean, Jr. in a verbal straightjacket. They too live in mortal dread of Tom Kean, Jr. saying or doing something that could lose him not only the NRA blessing but also result in opposition to him by the gun-loving MAGA infrastructure, including the vile militia movement, featuring such luminaries as the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys and the leading lights of the Trumpist conspiratorial constituencies, including most notably QAnon and its profoundly evil spiritual leader, Marjorie Taylor Greene.
So when a mass killing takes place on the streets of America, Tom Kean, Jr. will offer no public comment. In response to such previous tragedies as the mass killings in Uvalde, Texas, you will find not even a word of prayer of consolation from him on the hallowed Tom Kean, Jr. Politician campaign Facebook page or Twitter.
Yesterday, the sound of silence of Tom Kean, Jr. on mass shootings reached a stage of shrill offensiveness in the wake of the murders in Highland Park, Illinois.
I know Highland Park, Illinois very well. My aunt, uncle, and cousins lived there at one time. It has a very active Jewish community that includes a prominent contingent of remaining Holocaust survivors.
These proud and great American Holocaust survivors looked forward yesterday to a joyous Fourth of July, a welcome departure from their days of hell in Hitler’s Europe. Instead, they awakened to the sound of murderous gunfire from a proud supporter of Donald Trump.
As I have written in previous columns, the American Jewish community has had no better supporters than the Kean family, including the late grandfather of Tom Kean, Jr., Congressman Robert Kean and the father of Tom, Jr., former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean. In their day, Bob and Tom Kean would have been the first on the scene with expression of concern and support for the people of Highland Park.
The citizens of Highland Park will hear nary a word of concern from Tom Kean, Jr. Of course, if they go to his Facebook page, they can find plenty of information on the prices of chicken, beer, and bagels.
The acolytes of Tom Kean, Jr. will describe his silence on mass shootings as “campaign discipline.” I call it insensitivity in the extreme, indicative of unfitness for office.
My favorite song about proud Americanism was Frank Sinatra’s “The House I Live In.” The descriptive song for the insensitive silence of the Tom Kean, Jr. campaign should be the Simon and Garfunkel masterpiece, “The Sound of Silence.” Unlike the magnificent Simon and Garfunkel opus, however, the Tom Kean, Jr. rendition has the offensive dissonance of unbridled political ambition.
That is how the 2022 Kean, Jr. Campaign for Congress is likely to be remembered.
Alan J. Steinberg served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.