There I was, looking at pictures of my granddaughters, both making me smile and laugh. One granddaughter is 15 months old, and the other is nearly two months old. Both have big, happy brown eyes that can pierce your heart.
My thoughts drift to them in kindergarten, grade school, sleepovers, dating, proms, graduations and then a full leap right into the world.
But my cheerfulness was fleeting. That happiness train I was on barreled right into the alt-lunacy and dangers of the present and the abandonment of good sense by the president of the United States.
I am glad my little girls are so young and innocent right now and don’t have to deal with President Donald Trump’s continued dodging of the truth and dismissal of compassion. This was highlighted days ago by the callous way he dealt with the terrorist killing of Heather Heyer, an innocent woman standing up to the hatred of Nazis and white supremacists and the rest of the racist gumbo of evil in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Charlottesville killing will be a great moment to launch my teachable moments to my girls.
I hope my girls become history buffs and read about the great presidents who were able to use words to heal a hurting nation in the times of crisis. They will read about John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama and yes, even George W. Bush.
Then they will read and hopefully ask questions about Trump and his lost chance at Charlottesville to calm and assure a grieving community. They will ask what Trump was thinking when he put hate groups like the Nazis, Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists on the same moral footing as groups who believe the extermination of people is unacceptable.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — A van veered onto a promenade Thursday and barreled down the busy wa…
In Trump’s alternate universe, my granddaughters may well look back and believe the president would have gone so far as to suggest a “Take a Good Nazi to Lunch” day. Now that I think about it, my little girls wouldn’t understand this president’s callousness if I explained it to them today or 15 years from now. I will make sure that my girls know, because future history books might ignore it, that four girls who looked just like them were blown apart by a bomb planted in their church by people just like the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists.
My granddaughters, I hope, will ignore stories from Trump that among the vilest people on the earth there were some well-meaning Nazis and just chillin’ white supremacists who were misunderstood in Charlottesville. Trump’s turn on history would be that those guys just happened to be innocently hanging out with people who would hate my girls just because of their skin color.
When my granddaughters are four and five years old, I’ll start early with them on some things. I hope I can tell them that America is emerging from a four-year nightmare where their country had become a laughingstock on the world stage and a place of social upheaval. Even though they will be young, I think I will be able to get them to understand.
Hopefully, I will be able to tell them a few years later that while the Nazis, white nationalists and white supremacists found footing under Trump, that the majority of Americans stood against them and prevailed.
At some point, I know I will have to explain a truth that Trump didn’t have anything to do with. It involves the video of the Tiki Torch march in Charlottesville where dozens of Nazis and white supremacists marched with loaded rifles slung over their shoulders and handguns in holsters through a no-weapon zone on a college campus and were not confronted by police. I would tell them if dozens of African Americans walked anywhere with guns on display that law enforcement would have confronted them almost immediately.
To prove my point, I would show them the photograph seen around the world of the Baton Rouge law enforcement officers, dressed in ominous looking in space-age military gear, hustling to confront an African-American woman armed only with a blank look on her face. Imagine if she was packing a weapon.
Even though I am not overly religious man, I am a believer. And hopefully, in four years, Trump’s scourge will be over, and I will have my girls join me in this verse from "Amazing Grace": “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home.”
Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman who writes a weekly Advocate column, at firstname.lastname@example.org.