Donald Trump has audacious proposals to wall off Mexico and bar Muslim immigrants, but he hasn’t said how he would stop people from sneaking around the barriers or overstaying visas.
How might he manage that? Let’s surmise one way.
He could be planning to implant every lawful resident with an identification chip like those the veterinarian offers to your dog or cat. The process is relatively painless and doesn’t cost much.
Newborns and legitimate visitors would be first. Others would have their turn in order to renew their drivers’ licenses, receive a tax refund, or show up to vote. Strategically placed surveillance devices would detect people without chips to be held for questioning.
“We have no choice,” he would say.
Stop. Roll back. This is fiction. I have absolutely no evidence that anything of the sort has occurred even to Trump. Identity chips have been the fantasy only of some folks on the far right who enjoy suspecting that their own government is out to get them.
They’re probably huge Trump fans. They’re susceptible to believing anything bad about their country’s leadership, and that’s what he trades on.
They’d better be careful, though. With Trump, one of their nightmares could become reality.
As Trump himself would say, who knows?
Stop. Roll back. I say again, this is fiction.
But it’s no more false, fanciful or outrageous than the paranoid fables that Trump persistently passes off as casually as you or I might say, “How’s it going today?”
After the slaughter at Orlando, Trump had the gall to imply that President Obama was somehow responsible.
“There’s something going on,” Trump said.
That’s not proof.
He prepared for his campaign by flogging the birther nonsense even after all but a few certifiable lunatics had accepted the redundant evidence of Barack Obama’s native-born citizenship.
He has been digging into his party’s dry-as-dust Benghazi well by charging that Hillary Clinton was asleep rather than answering the phone when the American consulate was under attack. That’s a takeoff on her campaign question, “Who do you want in the White House when the phone rings at 3 a.m.?”
The trouble with Trump’s attempt to exploit Benghazi in that regard is that while the assault took place at nighttime in Libya, it was full daylight in the United States. The secretary of state was not napping. After verifying that she was in her Washington office, PolitiFact rated Trump’s claim “false.”
Pressed repeatedly on the insinuation, Trump finally admitted on NBC News that it might not be true.
“It happened all during the day and was going on for a long period of time — it was going on for a long period of time and she was asleep at the wheel, whether she was sleeping or not, who knows if she was sleeping?” he said.
If such speculative claptrap is legitimate politicking, here are a few other possibilities:
Is Trump insane?
Does he maintain a secret harem somewhere?
Does he have a fortune stashed in Russian banks, and is that why he’s refusing to divulge his income tax returns?
Trump continues to remind us that the Republican Party is about to nominate, for the most important office in the world, someone who doesn’t care even in the slightest whether there’s any truth to what he says.
He is a deliberate liar who’s as eager to deceive everyone in the same way he took advantage of people expecting to learn something useful from the so-called Trump University. The lesson that most learned was to not be swindled again.
And when Trump accuses Clinton of being the most corrupt presidential candidate ever, she must know what it’s like to be called ugly by a frog. Trump should look in the mirror.
He is as corrupt, if not more so, than any individual who has ever run for any office in the United States.
To tell lies and willfully repeat them after they have been exposed is a profound form of corruption.
To lure hard-working Americans into seminars on the premise that they will learn to be rich and then stiff them for ever-costlier upgrades they can’t afford is a profound form of corruption.
To habitually take corporations into bankruptcy, enriching oneself while leaving creditors and investors with little or nothing, is corruption. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, once can be the failure of good intentions. But at the old saying goes, “Fool me once, your fault. Fool me twice, my fault.”
The presidency of the United States — the leadership of the free world — is not on the order of a gambling casino or a golf course. We don’t dare be fooled even once.
Especially not by so colossal a liar as Donald Trump.
Martin Dyckman is a retired associate editor of the newspaper now known as the Tampa Bay Times. He lives in suburban Asheville, North Carolina.