At last, America is once again unified. We are, it turns out, all racists.
Because if retired Marine Gen. and current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a Gold Star dad among so many other distinctions, is a racist, then every last one of us is.
This is according to the great titan of objective intellect, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson of South Florida. Somewhere, one of the buffoonish characters of a Carl Hiaasen novel jumped out of the pages and ran for Congress.
Congresswoman Wilson is living proof that, literally, anyone — no matter how stupid — can get elected to Congress. And the fact that there is actually a party in American politics that would allow someone so dumb in their caucus only proves how un-seriously Democrats take themselves and how much contempt party leaders have for innocent American voters.
Congresswoman Wilson has long been known for pretty much only one thing: the ridiculous colorful, feathered and sequined cowboy hats she sports around the halls of Congress. Otherwise, she is ignored because of her stultifying ignorance.
A clown in a cowboy hat. All hat, no cattle. An hat rack, only dumber.
Her style — or distinctive lack thereof — has always been humorously tolerated because she seemed fairly harmless in a place that is increasingly useless.
Until, that is, she waded into the momentously sacred space where a commander in chief must extend the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation to a family suffering the incalculable loss of a son, daughter, husband, wife, mother, father — in battle. The president speaks of the man’s bravery and sacrifice.
But to a very dumb person, uncaring yet eavesdropping, incapable of understanding bravery or sacrifice, the words come unhinged from their meaning. And if the person is a hopelessly partisan hack in Congress — in addition to being dangerously stupid — these sober words get jammed clumsily into a sausage grinder and out pops gibberish nonsense.
Victim. Offense. Racism.
At this point, Congresswoman Wilson is no longer a blabbering dolt to be humored. She is slashing at the fabric of society, mocking the most treasured sacrifice known to free people. Taking a moment so solemn that most Americans cannot even comprehend it and distorting it into the cheapest blinking politics she could cobble together.
Clearly disgusted, Mr. Kelly responded to the whole sordid affair with perhaps the most blistering take-down of a politician ever recorded in public. We are talking a “shock and awe” verbal carpet bombing that made the 1991 “Highway of Death” out of Kuwait look like a carnival pea-shooting gallery.
Mr. Kelly recounted his own son’s death and delivered a tutorial in minute detail of what happens to a soldier’s dead body and how that soldier’s family is informed and all the various ways gratitude, gratitude and gratitude is heaped upon the family, understanding full well that no words will ever ease a burden that cannot be eased, only dulled by the aching passage of time. Time that moves in deathly slow motion.
But don’t expect Frederica Wilson to understand any of this. Even if boiled down to Soldier Death for Dummies book, she would be incapable of reading it.
She did, however, have her staff “look up in the dictionary” the words “empty barrel,” the withering term Mr. Kelly used to describe Wilson’s booming loud — and utterly useless — public yammering.
“That’s a racist term,” the congresswoman announced to a media still apparently pretending to take her seriously.
In an another interview, she giddily declared: “You mean to tell me that I’ve become so important that the White House is following me and my words? This is amazing! I’ll have to tell my kids that I’m a rock star now!”
So, in summary, Mr. Kelly is the racist here and Congresswoman Wilson is the rock star.
For the good of humanity — not to mention the notion of self-governance in America — this woman must be removed from public office.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter via @charleshurt.