There is no dearth of reasons to rant, rail and rage against the new president for the disgraceful caliber of people he has placed in positions of power throughout the departments, offices and agencies of the federal government.
Even a few Republicans have been embarrassed by the obvious lack of experience or knowledge of some nominees. Think Betsy DeVos, Rex Tillerson, Rick Perry, Scott Pruitt, among others.
In some cases, however, a person who is given high political office is deeply unqualified in more disturbing ways: ideologically, ethically and morally.
On Saturday in these pages, I mentioned that Dr. Ben Carson, in his first official speech as the new secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), equated the men and women who were taken from their homes by force and shipped off to America to become slaves - with “immigrants.”
That is only the most obvious of the offensive moments in Carson's speech a week ago. Here is a short transcript of another, when he spoke about his previous work as a neurosurgeon:
”With a kid, you can operate 10, 12, 18, 20 hours and if you're successful, your reward may be 50, 60, 70, 80 years of life.
“Whereas with an old geezer, you spend all that time operating and they die in five years of something else. So I like to get a big return on my investment.”
I'll pause for a moment to let the potential consequences of that perspective on housing and related civil rights sink in.
Most days, I record the Late Show with Stephen Colbert so I can watch his monologue the next day. One of the “rewards” for my effort is way too many ageist jokes (although no more than the other late-night hosts).
But this time, to his great, grand credit, Colbert called out Carson.
This is that segment with the two parts from the secretary's speech I've highlighted along with two others that deserve equal piles of scorn:
You'll find some of the instant Twitter reaction to Carson's slave/immigrant comment at Huffington Post.
It's not that Secretary Carson is more ideologically or ethically challenged or any less knowledgeable about his new position than some other appointed leaders in this most reprehensible federal administration in my lifetime.
But he does appear to be the most candid about his shortcomings; whether by accident or design is hard to know.
What I do know is that there is so much double-dealing, overreach, hubris, lying, ignorance, secrecy, possible criminality and even treason along with open disdain for the Constitution, the rule of law and the citizenry itself that we must recognize every instance we see.
That isn't easy because there are several new ones every day. But we must not allow the bizarre beliefs of Secretary Carson and those of everyone else in the Trump administration to become so normal and ordinary that we are no longer shocked.
Do not let that happen to you or the people you know.