Sanity is under assault


By Ann McFeatters

Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON

The potholed path to election 2016 is so treacherous, we need a break from the awfulness. So instead, let’s marvel at the weirdness.

Donald Trump is pivoting among his positions so fast it’s dizzying. Would-be Hillary Clinton voters are dumbfounded by her blind eye to the perception that much pay-to-play occurred when she was secretary of state and held a great many private meetings with donors to the Clinton Foundation.

Where can we find respite from these daily assaults on sanity?

Well, there was that delicious photo opportunity of Trump in flood-ravaged Louisiana helping unload donated humanitarian supplies from the back of a truck. He spent less than a minute in manual labor, during which he was photographed handing a box of Play-Doh to Mike Pence, his running mate.

The scene was, no doubt, set up by Trump’s newest batch of handlers, who have been struggling to make him softer, less bigoted, less racist, less xenophobic and less sexist and have pushed him to read off teleprompters so he won’t say anything outrageously offensive, as he has been happily doing for more than a year. But, really. Play-Doh?

And what’s up with going before white audiences to talk to black Americans, saying their experience is: “Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing, no homes, no ownership. Crime at levels that nobody has seen. You can go to war zones in countries that we are fighting, and it’s safer than living in some of our inner cities. And I ask you this: What the hell do you have to lose? Give me a chance. I’ll straighten it out.”

Blacks reject Trump

That’s gotta be a sure-fire way to lure the 97 percent of blacks who say they don’t want a Trump presidency.

The Trump campaign is trying to insinuate that Clinton is not physically well despite her doctor’s reassurances. Hillary told late-night TV comedian Jimmy Kimmel to take her pulse while she was talking to prove she’s alive. She also opened a jar of pickles in a now-famous test for proving good health. We are blessed she did it with a modicum of effort.

Trump is demanding a special prosecutor look into Clinton’s granting of access to financial supporters of her family foundation, which, admittedly, has done valuable charitable work. If elected, she says there won’t be any more foreign or corporate donations accepted. Why didn’t she say that when she was in the Obama administration?

Trump says he knows how the game is played because he has always handed out “yuge” donations to politicians to give him whatever “the hell” he wanted from them.

Meanwhile, Trump refuses to discuss what would happen to his complicated business empire if he is elected. Secret trust? It’s not as if you can just forget you own Trump Tower, golf courses and Mar-a-Lago.

He castigates Clinton for resisting the release of her private emails. But, unlike her, he won’t release his tax returns. (His excuse of an audit is no excuse, say the experts.) Is it because he doesn’t pay much if anything in taxes on all those billions of dollars he supposedly has?

Trump boasts he is self-funded but now that donors are contributing to him he raises the rents he charges his campaign for office space in his own properties and the use of such things as his private planes.

Sorry. I lied. I promised you a diversion, and you just feel worse.

Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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