Taking to social media recently à la Donald Trump, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts brazenly turned the leading Republican presidential candidate’s favorite insult on its head: “Let’s be honest — Donald Trump is a loser.”

Warren proceeded to outline Trump’s business failures and impute his atrocious behavior to insecurity. And yet, she gives dire warning that this loser’s presidential campaign should not be underestimated.

“More than anyone we’ve seen before come within reach of the presidency, Donald Trump stands ready to tear apart … America. … Many of history’s worst authoritarians started out as losers — and Trump is a serious threat.”

The senator must have needed all the conviction and strength of character she could muster to mix it up with Trump. A very accomplished woman accustomed to operating on the highest rhetorical plane, she could have easily remained above the fray. But these are times that try women’s souls.

There is clearly a dark energy among the electorate that seeks the monstrous permission to revel in overt, ecstatic nastiness. Or as many have said to explain their support for Trump, “He tells it like it is.”

And make no mistake, this is nastiness of an authoritarian kind. The elements are in evidence: megalomania, the cult of personality, opportunism, violence, raw anger, racism, relentless mendacity, vulgarity, overbearing ignorance, intolerance of opposition, orgiastic patriotism, brutal militarism, torture, and external and internal enemies. About the only thing missing is uniformed Trumpsters.

As Warren concluded, “It’s our job to make sure he ends this campaign every bit the loser that he started it.” That job unfortunately includes, as Warren has demonstrated, getting down into the political muck and wrestling the idiot demon into submission.

Galin Elias Franklin

Waterville