There is a whiff of complacency in the air. In Cleveland, the Republicans have lined up behind the previously unthinkable.
Donald J. Trump is the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
Take a few moments. With a pen, write down the words “President Donald Trump.” Do it two or three times and examine the ink drying on the paper. If those words do not mortify you, I do not know what would.
I wake up every morning and, after a few less printable expletives, I bleat “Has the world lost its damn mind? Donald Trump? — TRUMP! — as president!?”
Rick Perry once called Trump a “cancer.” Marco Rubio used the phrase “con man.” Paul Ryan, just a few weeks ago, called his actions the “textbook definition of racism.” Yet they are all dutifully support this unholy standard bearer of the Grand Old Party.
Trump is totally unqualified to be president in ways that totally transcend politics and partisan issues. He supports making Muslims wear special identification on their clothes. He compared one opponent to a child molester and insinuated another’s father was complicit in John Kennedy’s assassination. He courts the support of Neo-Nazis and floated the idea of using nuclear weapons in Europe. He even has turned his back on our NATO allies in the face of Russian aggression.
All of this, coupled with the fact that the man speaks at a third-grade level, seldom cobbling together more than a few words in a sentence or speaking with any modicum of articulateness. His unchanged platform consists of little more than an infeasible plan to build a giant wall along the border with Mexico.
And yet, about half the electorate has warmed up to him. I seriously do not get it. I am totally stumped.
I get not supporting Hillary Clinton if one is a Republican. Thankfully, for such people, there are multiple two-term Republican governors running on the Libertarian ticket. They profess conservative ideologies, neither openly embraces racism and antisemitism and neither have ever supported Clinton in the past. Trump can’t even satisfy one of those categories.
The American people appear to have let complacency corrupt our scruples. Somehow, it is not a scandal nor a national emergency that this demagogue hijacked the “Party of Lincoln” and now stands at the precipice of inheriting the nuclear codes. Somehow, every newspaper in the country is not printing front-page editorials every day between now and November 7. Somehow, this is not the overarching fear in every living room within this country.
There has not been a single day where this absurdity has not left the forefront of my mind. Not even a single fleeting moment that I do not lament this pachyderm pestilence — that is the Trump Travesty.
A few months ago, I blithely contended that Ted Cruz would make a worse president than Donald Trump, echoing the sentiments of many others, including Jimmy Carter. I was wrong. I am sorry for saying that, and for the damage to this country my words may help end up inflicting.
I do not know if it were the heat of the primaries or a deluded hope that Trump would moderate himself in the general election campaign, but it was a ludicrous proposition. I was stupid. Cruz, for all his faults, is bad within the realms of precedent. Trump is not.
We must not let complacency take over. We must not let it convince us that this ranting, raving ignoramus represents anything normal about American society. This is not normal! This is indicative of something going seriously and horribly wrong.
I am afraid of Donald Trump, more than a toddler crying in the dark. I am scared for what he would do to this country, to me and to the people I love. The prospect of President Trump should scare you every minute of every day. It sure as hell frightens me.
Horwitz is a first year law student from Houston. Follow him on Twitter @NmHorwitz.