I will never vote for Donald Trump

I will never vote for Donald Trump
Destroyer of worlds? (Image via outsidethebeltway.com)

There are many reasons to abstain from voting for Mr. Trump if he is nominated, starting with the fact that he would be the most unqualified president in American history. Every one of our 44 presidents has had either government or military experience before being sworn in. Mr. Trump, a real estate mogul and former reality-television star, hasn’t served a day in public office or the armed forces. …

Even more disqualifying is Mr. Trump’s temperament. He is erratic, inconsistent and unprincipled. He possesses a streak of crudity and cruelty that manifested itself in how he physically mocked a Times journalist with a disability, ridiculed Senator John McCain for being a P.O.W., made a reference to “blood” intended to degrade a female journalist and compared one of his opponents to a child molester.

Mr. Trump’s legendary narcissism would be comical were it not dangerous in someone seeking the nation’s highest office — as he demonstrated when he showered praise on the brutal, anti-American president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, responding to Mr. Putin’s expression of admiration for Mr. Trump. …

Mr. Trump’s presence in the 2016 race has already had pernicious effects, but they’re nothing compared with what would happen if he were the Republican standard-bearer. The nominee, after all, is the leader of the party; he gives it shape and definition. If Mr. Trump heads the Republican Party, it will no longer be a conservative party; it will be an angry, bigoted, populist one. Mr. Trump would represent a dramatic break with and a fundamental assault on the party’s best traditions.

The Republican Party’s best traditions, of course, have not always been evident. (The same is true of the Democratic Party, by the way.) Over the years we have seen antecedents of today’s Trumpism both on issues and in style — for example, in Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaigns in the 1990s, in Sarah Palin’s rise in the party, in the reckless rhetoric of some on the right like Ann Coulter.

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