This has been our summer of discontent. We had the hottest July in history. Maybe that’s why everybody’s mad — it got too uncomfortable.

Or maybe it is because anger provides an outlet for discontent. We are frustrated, things are not getting better, solutions to our problems elude us.

In this environment emerges an opportunist, the ringmaster of a circus called “Trump for President.” First dismissed as unelectable, “The Donald” is now overrated as the likely Republican presidential nominee.

Trump, the irrepressible super-salesman, has for the time being captured the angry mood of the country and used it to his advantage. Author of “The Art of the Deal,” his carefully crafted image of a non-politician is working.

Here is the deal he is selling: He will make America great again — by walling us off from the rest of the world. He will make Mexico pay for that wall. All undocumented immigrants will be rounded up and deported. Never mind the fact that immigrant children born here are protected by birthright law.

Next he will repeal Obamacare. Not likely, since it is now law. Attempting to gut it could make the situation far worse for those finally covered by insurance. The law can be amended and changes made but wholesale repeal, just like forcing Mexico to finance a great wall, is just plain unrealistic.

Which brings me to the point of this column: This country’s problems are not a TV reality show like the one that made Trump a celebrity.

As I watched a live telecast of his recent rally in Alabama, I was struck by the reaction of the audience closest to the stage. The scene was reminiscent of a Barnum and Bailey three-ring circus. (And I should know — I was ringmaster for the Shrine circus in Maine one year). Trump is a snake-oil salesman, clever and crafty. He has the medicine for all your ills, just take a swig of this and all your problems will disappear.

We’ve seen this scene before — tell ’em what they want to hear and feed them the red meat. “Throw all the bums out, I am the non-politician that you all have been waiting for.” And then incredibly, the non-politician speaking at this rally in Bible-Belt, red state Alabama, panders to the crowd by holding up his book and saying, “This is not my favorite book. My favorite book, just like you, is the Bible.” (Really?)

As the days and months go by, voters will begin to question the specter of Trump as commander in chief, confronting world leaders. In a TV interview, I watched as he said that he develops his views on foreign policy by watching TV shows. Not surprising, because that is what this is — the Donald Trump TV show. A master showman and salesman ringing up the ratings.

The rhetoric is stirring, striking a chord in a national moment of discontent and anger, but as the old slogan goes: “Where’s the beef?” Where are the realistic solutions and meaningful answers to all the questions?

Trump told the audience in Mobile, Alabama, that he would bring back jobs to America by threatening and intimidating the countries with which we trade. He told them that he would use people like his friend, investor Carl Ichan, to negotiate with China, Russia and Iran. “You all know who Carl Ichan is, right?” he asked the audience.

Not surprisingly, there was no reaction.

We need to step back and ask ourselves this serious question: Are any of Trump’s promises realistic? Especially without the help of some in Congress whom he will need, the same ones he insults every day.

Personal brute force while interacting with others does not produce results, as Maine’s chief executive, Gov. Paul LePage, has learned the hard way.

Trump’s ego, arrogance and crudeness (especially in remarks to and about women) may work in the world in which he operates, but it is a recipe for disaster for bringing together a United States of America.

Trump’s candidacy could be ruining the GOP’s chances in 2016. America may be mad, but without support for the Republican candidate from women, who represent a majority of voters, and Hispanics, the fastest-growing segment of our population, the next president elected will be a mirror image of the flawed Obama administration.

I am for immigration reform, more affordable health care, a booming market-based economy and the strongest national defense possible. But realistic solutions will come from collaboration, and a highly qualified man or woman in the Oval Office.

Don’t be sold a bridge in Brooklyn. Trump is not the right ringmaster for this political circus.

Don Roberts, a former city councilor and former vice chairman of the Charter Commission in Augusta, is a trustee of the Greater Augusta Utility District.

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