Why can’t presidential candidates shut up?

If there is one talent in which politicians exceed it is making hay out of human tragedy, or more specifically, attacks of terrorism. The despicable attacks today in Brussels in which 30 people were killed is a perfect example.

The bombs ignited today in Belgium is claimed by the terrorist group du jour, ISIS. The three presidential candidates on the Republican side and the two on the Democrats slate weighed in, of course, after expressing their sympathy.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was his usual caustic self. The senator took the attacks as a time to slam President Obama, who is in Cuba on a historic trip to Cruz’ ancestral home. Cruz criticized the president for “going to a baseball game with the Castros.” The GOP senator also attacked Republican front runner Donald Trump for his usual over-the-top demagoguery. I can’t be critical for the remarks on Trump except perhaps Cruz didn’t go  far enough in his remarks on his opponent. Plus, the obsession of Cruz and some  other Republicans have about Obama’s refusal to label terrorists “Radical Islamic Terrorists” — a term which paints all Muslims as radical terrorists — was launched once again.

Trump was all over the television repeating his ridiculous answers to terrorism, once again calling for waterboarding and even outright torture.

Trump also wants the U.S. to abandon NATO and advocates shutting down the border to, as he says, “figure out what is going on.” He likewise advocates patrolling Muslim neighborhoods by the police.

Even the Caspar Milquetoast of the GOP candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich,  said Obama needs to come home to organize a response to the ISIS bombings. The president made a historic visit to Cuba this week and plans a stop in Buenos Aires.

As one might imagine, the Democrats running for president responded to the Belgium attacks in a softer tone, calling for resolve in the face of terrorists.

I admit to having no plan to fight terrorism beyond the normal means here at home of reporting strange things left in stores and airports and calling police if you see some jihad-looking guys carrying a long, olive green box — which might contain a shoulder-fired rocket launcher — into their motel rooms at night. If it turns out they are setting up an electric train set, oh well, it’s the “war on terror.” Should I sometime admit to being facetious?

The presidential candidates all really need to shut up when incidences such as today’s attacks take place. No matter that they give our allies mixed signals and our enemies more “bulletin board material.”

After today we are all Belgians. Or is it we’re all Americans, or Brits or French or wherever terrorist acts occur?