If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees." -- Donald Trump, Feb. 1, 2016
"I'd like to punch him in the face." -- Donald Trump, Feb. 22, 2016
"You know, part of the problem ... is, nobody wants to hurt each other anymore, right?" -- Donald Trump, March 11, 2016
"Any guy that can do a body slam ... he's my guy." -- Donald Trump, Oct. 18, 2018, praising Rep. Greg Gianforte, who was convicted of assaulting a reporter
"We have to come together and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that threats or acts of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America." -- Donald Trump, Oct. 24, 2018
Lord, this guy...
He just can't help himself, can he? Seems like every time he opens his mouth, out falls the bovine excreta, great lumps of hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance.
He was at it again Wednesday. The mind reeled as Mr., Trump, arguably America's most enthusiastic proponent of political violence, made a statement deploring political violence. This, as investigators sought the person or persons who sent explosive devices to CNN as well as to Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters, Eric Holder and other prominent critics of Mr. Trump's chaos presidency.
No, Mr. Trump isn't the first president to say something at sharp variance with what he said before. Mr. Obama once claimed he never said, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." George W. Bush once claimed his administration never advocated "stay the course" in Iraq.
But this guy, Lord, this guy, with him, it's not a sometime thing. Rather, it is every day, all the time, as if in his world, words have no fixed meaning and people, no memory. So that what he said with seeming sincerity on Tuesday can be demolished by what he says with seeming sincerity on Wednesday, and he doesn't care -- indeed, he marvels that anyone does -- because, hey, Tuesday's gone. And Thursday's coming.
This ongoing insult of reality, this daily denigration of truth, is epidemic among Mr. Trump's people. Unable to face what is, they live in a kingdom of lies, seek sanctuary down a rabbit hole of conspiracy theories. Indeed, Trump cultists -- Lou Dobbs, James Woods, Rush Limbaugh, Candace Owens and more -- where quick to suggest the bombs were part of a Democratic plot to sway the coming election.
Nevermind that police since have charged a Trump mega-fan with the crimes.
Meantime, this guy, this morally deformed 72-year-old brat, had a theory of his own. After bombs were sent to people he has spent years insulting ("low IQ," "crooked," "ignorant,") and to a network he has spent years condemning ("enemies of the people"), Mr. Trump tweeted that the "anger" in our society is a result of media's "false and inaccurate reporting."
So in other words, if reporters would just stop challenging him, stop questioning him, stop behaving as if words have meaning and people, memories, all will be well. He probably even believes that.
But the issue here is not news media. Nor is it civility or Republicans being yelled at in restaurants.
No, the issue is reality and the fact that it becomes no less real because you don't acknowledge it. That's what the Trump cult has never figured out. Reality will always have the last word. And you may run from it, but you can never escape.
Not even down a rabbit hole, not even in a kingdom of lies.
Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald; Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.