Some mornings I arise trying not to turn on the television. I steer clear of my smartphone because there might be a bulletin about some dumb stuff the most powerful man in the free world has said or done.
It’s my little effort to manage a major portion of my morning before diving into the world of “what the hell did President Donald Trump or his surrogates say or do today?”
I kind of want some “me time” before I try to understand the looney comments surfacing from a political realm so distant from reality that the most powerful telescope is light years away from finding it. Even the starship Enterprise would have dashed any idea of a voyage that distant.
But try as I might, I can’t get away from it. You read comments from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and there goes breakfast. You’re convinced they have to be using some form of hallucinogen. Marijuana did not do this to them.
Then comes Trump’s new claim that former President Barack Obama tapped his phone. That claim is from the same source — his own childish mind — that told him that Obama was not a U.S. citizen.
In recent weeks I have really, really tried to steer clear of the Trump administration's daily follies and blizzard of lies. (Sorry, I mean alternative facts.) But it’s impossible.
About Carson, it’s so sad that this once-gifted brain surgeon is being invaded by interplanetary beings that make him spew idiotic comments. His most controversial, lately, is to equate slaves with immigrants. That is something I have never heard, even from the dastardly crew that brought us David Duke.
Immigrants generally chose where they are going. They don’t volunteer to be chained and stacked liked cords of wood on top of each other in the belly of ships headed for places they know nothing about, stripped of their culture, torn from their children and placed into bondage. I think I’m correct on this. The good doctor is nuts.
That he would say such foolishness and would not be rebuked by the president of the United States says a whole lot about this administration. I hope civics and history teachers around the country quickly explained to their students that what Carson said has no basis in truth and thus is worse than an alternative fact.
My heart hurts for him because I think he actually believes he is right.
Now, about bazillionaire DeVos: When I was child, grownups would say you can be a fool, but no one will know you are a fool unless you start talking.
Well, DeVos is probably not a fool, but she has made a couple of statements that were completely — well, let’s say, incredibly misguided and nonsensical.
She said historically black colleges and universities were basically the product of African-Americans making a choice between their schools and predominantly white colleges. I bet DeVos’ rich coffee klatch friends, who have no love for public schools, believe what she said is correct.
Let me bring this hogwash closer to home. Louisiana State University did not have a black student on its campus until the 1950s, and some of the good ol' boys of Tiger country did everything to chase him away. At the same time, black students were 11 miles north at predominantly black Southern University, where I attended, because that’s where they had to go in Baton Rouge for a college education. There was no choice.
That scenario was replicated across the Deep South for many years.
Enough about those two.
Even though I try to ignore it, I feel compelled to seek out the media because I am scared for my country, because of the perpetual lying of a thin-skinned man who may have some sort of personality disorder. It’s difficult to stay away from the news when the president’s associates lather themselves so heavily in lies and half-truths that you feel you need to monitor their comments so you know when to run.
Trump’s latest upchuck of lies is that Obama tapped his phone. He has offered no proof of his allegation. He just feels the need to impugn the name of a former president. What is wrong with this man?
The question is, where does it stop? And will his pattern of off-the-cuff lies and crazy allegations result in danger to us here and abroad?
At some point, his insane hustle will wreck this nation. Surely, some of his supporters see what is going on, but they have dropped all pretense of love of country. It’s all about the party. He’s our guy — right, wrong or insane.
As I finish writing this column, I feel the urge to go immediately to my news app because Lord knows the POTUS could have dropped another attack on the truth that I need to know about it. I’ve got know if I need to run.
Email Edward Pratt, a south Louisiana freelance writer, at email@example.com.