We live in a Seussian world. What other conclusion can you draw after this past week?
You remember Dr. Seuss, whose oeuvre includes the memorable "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think." In it, he conjures up all sorts of delightful zaniness. Alas, his imagination is no match for what we've heard recently. Oh, where to start?
How about with the recent national poll that found 54 percent of Republicans think President Barack Obama is a Muslim. Only 29 percent think he was born in the United States. But 40 percent think Canadian-born GOP candidate Sen. Ted Cruz was born in the United States. They think all this despite those pesky thinks called facts.CartoonMatt Davies' latest cartoon: Universal coverageCommentSubmit your letterReader essaysGet published in Newsday
We heard Gov. Scott Walker say he thinks building a wall between the United States and Canada is an idea worth considering. No, it's not -- not under any scenario.
We heard Gov. Chris Christie say he thinks that immigrants should be tracked like FedEx packages, which sounds just a wee bit more authoritarian than anything our founding fathers were thinking.
We heard a bunch of Republicans and Democrats, mostly from Ohio, say Obama was wrong to "rename" Alaska's Mount McKinley as Denali. They think it's constitutional overreach and the president overstepped his bounds again. Wrong and wrong. Obama acted within his authority. And he acceded to the wishes of Alaska's congressional delegation, all Republicans, all of whom wanted Denali. Funny how when the "honor" of one of Ohio's many presidents was at stake, so many of Obama's critics abandoned what they think about the primacy of states' rights and local control. To be clear, Obama did not "rename" Mount McKinley. He restored the name given it centuries ago by Alaska natives, before its redubbing by a 19th century gold prospector.
We heard Hillary Clinton say she thinks she should have made a different choice regarding her private email server. You think? You think she would think that if the issue wasn't causing her grief? Her interview Friday got me thinking about all the times she has said, "I've always been clear that . . ." That's usually a signal to start checking how much her thinking has changed.
We heard Cruz, former Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul say they think Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis was right to refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Sorry, but no. Davis has every right to her religious beliefs and I understand her personal crisis of conscience. But she swore an oath to fulfill the duties of her elective office and the law now says gay people can get married. So her choice is simple: Issue the licenses or resign. Huckabee said he thinks jailing her for contempt is "the criminalization of Christianity." Funny how some people praise this nation as one governed by the rule of law -- until they find one they don't like.
Then we hear Donald Trump criticize former Gov. Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish on the trail and Bush call Trump a germophobe, and we get distracted from the many serious things we ought to be thinking about. Like how our stuff is falling apart. Our roads, bridges, tunnels and, yes, the naked copper wire that stranded thousands of Long Island Rail Road commuters last week, are crumbling. We're falling further behind China, Japan and much of Europe on high-speed rail. And South Korea plans to make its free Wi-Fi -- already twice as fast as the average in the United States -- 1,000 times faster in five years. How about some ideas to get stuff like that done and pay for it?
Now those are good thinks to think.
Michael Dobie is a member of the Newsday editorial board.