Make no mistake. Donald Trump’s candidacy amounts to a referendum on us. What kind of people are we? To this end, David French writes:
The crucible of the campaign has revealed him to be petty, malicious, and vindictive. He isn’t as bad as his critics feared — he’s worse. But the most disturbing thing isn’t that Trump exists — cruel and ambitious charlatans will always be among us — it’s that millions of Americans are embracing him because of his cruelty, because of his malice…
I began by quoting one Founding Father. Let me end by quoting another. Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Trump is running not for president of a constitutional republic but to be the strongman of a failing state. A virtuous people would stop him in his tracks. But are we a virtuous people? Tuesday will help tell the answer.
If you think that French is exaggerating the stakes of this election, you have badly misjudged our historical moment. Trump is the personification of everything that is reprehensible in politics. It is the duty of decent citizens to repudiate him. And that includes those citizens who go to the polls on Tuesday.