AFRAID TO GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY

1. It’s Monday, August 14, 2017.

2. It’s the 82nd anniversary of Social Security.

President Franklin Roosevelt signed the legislation that is now the lifeblood for millions of elderly Americans.

One of the tack-on benefits of having stalled the Trump-Ryan-McConnell effort to gut Americans’ health care is that they haven’t had a chance to act on gutting Americans’ Social Security – or Medicare, for that matter.

That’s going to be trickier. It’s not that they don’t want to – Republicans are on a mission to gut the legacies of every Democratic president from FDR to Obama, and especially those two.

But the older white people who are the core of the GOP support rely a great deal on Social Security and Medicare. And until the Republicans, in their usual serpentine way, figure out how to sell seniors on the idea that taking away those programs makes them more secure, it’s something they might avoid for a while.

3. Trump’s Charlottesville comments pissed off anyone with a brain who heard them.

The fact that he couldn’t condemn Nazis or white supremacists or traitors carrying Confederate flags by name. The fact that he thought that there were “many sides” in the wrong.

That’s all been rehashed the past few days, and there’s really little to add. Like Putin, Nazis and white supremacists seemed to be on Trump’s side in his crusade against Hillary Clinton, so they warrant his protection. It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

But I was curious about something in his rambling, insipid remarks.

What prompted him to talk about children playing?

“What is vital now is the swift restoration of law and order, and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society,” Trump said.

“And no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play, or be with their parents, and have a good time.”

What does Trump know about going outside and playing?

Can you imagine little Donnie traipsing through the streets of Jamaica in the 1950s? Would daddy Fred, who might have been arrested at a KKK rally before his son was born, let his son out among the unwashed?

Playing stickball with the other kids and crying because one of the bigger kids struck him out? Spending a day in the neighborhood ring-a-levio “jail”?

Can you imagine that any of Trump kids ever wandered off the gaudy estate to meet up with the neighborhood kids? Donnie Junior shooting hoops in a playground?

Does he think that little waifs wander the streets of Charlottesville on a Saturday afternoon, getting ice cream and spending a quarter on one of those devices that look like a car or horse and rocks around for about a minute.

A 32-year-old woman died because somebody rammed a car into her and other counter-protestors. But instead of condemning the people who sparked this, this idiot is talking about kids as if they would be running through sprinklers and flipping baseball cards if she and everyone else weren’t around.

So forget the fact that, in real 21st century America, parents just don’t send their kids outside to play the way they did when I was little. That, for better or worse, most kids interact in organized settings like playgroups or community programs, with the older ones playing video games and connecting on social media.

Perhaps Trump believes making America great again means going back to those times when parents sent their kids outside at 10 a.m. and didn’t expect to see them until dinner, except maybe for lunch.

But if that’s the case, maybe it would behoove Trump to tell his little Nazi buddies and Confederate sympathizers that America would be great if they stayed off the streets so that kids can play. Maybe urge them to crawl back under the rock with their fellow pillbugs.

Because that scum is out on the streets. And that’s not a fit sight for any child.

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