Daily Press (Sunday) - - Opinion - Pitts is a colum­nist for The Mi­ami Her­ald. Send email to lpitts@mi­ami­her­

“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 lumps of hypocrisy and cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance.

He was at it again Wed­nes­day. The mind reeled as Trump, ar­guably Amer­ica’s most en­thu­si­as­tic pro­po­nent of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence, made a state­ment de­plor­ing po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence.

This, as in­ves­ti­ga­tors sought the per­son 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 Trump’s chaos pres­i­dency.

No, Trump isn’t the first pres­i­dent to say some­thing at sharp vari­ance with what he said be­fore. 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 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 — have al­ready sug­gested the bombs were part of a Demo­cratic plot to sway the com­ing elec­tion.

At this writ­ing, a sus­pect was ar­rested Fri­day in re­la­tion to mailed pack­ages. Al­though I doubt the per­son as­sem­bled them in Nancy Pelosi’s kitchen.

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”), 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

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