People, we have a situation.

Too many of us have disregarded the warning signs. Those who had a chance to do something about it didn’t. Some of us apparently think it’s worth any price to send a message to establishment politicians and the mainstream press.

Now Donald Trump is one step away from becoming president, and every day he demonstrates again how unfit he is to serve.

The man is emotionally unstable. This, at least, people are beginning to notice. Check out an opinion piece entitled “There is Something Very Wrong with Donald Trump,” in The Washington Post online, and you will note that the other trending opinions of the day include “Is Donald Trump Just Plain Crazy?” and “Dear Republican Leaders: It’s Not Too Late to Dump Trump,” and “Trump Criticized My Silence. He Knows Nothing About True Sacrifice.”

Ah, yes. That last one was written by Ghazala Khan, who appeared with her husband, Khizr, at the Democratic National Convention. He spoke about their son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. The Khans are Muslim, and Khizr alluded to Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. He also said that Trump had “sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Trump fired back, insinuating that Ghazala had not spoken for herself because of some Muslim belief or tradition that forbade her from doing so. He picked the wrong target. Ghazala wrote in the op-ed piece referred to above that she was simply too emotional about her son’s death to talk about him.


What is wrong with this picture? Where do I start?

Criticizing parents who have lost a son while serving his country is not normal human behavior. It denotes a complete lack of empathy for others.

Presidents often must call or meet with family members whose loved ones have died in wars or other national tragedies. Is Trump capable of doing this? Will he pick and choose whom he consoles?

Reasonable people — and we do want someone reasonable in the Oval Office — do not respond angrily when they are criticized. Every single time. Most of us (although, admittedly, not enough) have been told to count to 10 before we let loose the verbal dogs of war. We consider the possible reactions to our actions. We think before we speak. The president of the United States can start a worldwide conflagration with this kind of unfiltered rhetoric.

The political arena can resemble a boxing ring. But ordinary citizens are not in the fray — we’re in the cheap seats. Politicians should not insult, criticize, or in any way demean their potential constituents.

This is especially true if the candidate is incapable of apologizing. Trump’s son Eric appeared on “CBS This Morning” earlier this week, and when all three anchors tried to get him to explain why his father hadn’t apologized, he just ran all around Robin Hood’s barn to avoid answering.


I’m sure Eric Trump knows very well his father just can’t do it. Again, most of us are able to feel remorse, and even to say “sorry” when we don’t really mean it. Just to smooth the waters, in other words. If Donald Trump could somehow make himself apologize, I don’t think he could do it without smirking.

That doesn’t seem to be on his mind anyway. Apparently unconcerned that the VFW roundly trashed Trump for his remarks, the Trump campaign is trying to get congressional Republicans to support his statements. They would be wise to stay away, or rebuke him, as did GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

It wasn’t surprising that McCain, a former POW, took Trump to task. Trump derided McCain during the primary campaign, saying McCain wasn’t a war hero. What goes around comes around. Another life rule most of us learned in kindergarten.

It seems clear to me that part of Trump’s attraction is his willingness to say what he thinks. Americans are weary of political correctness. So even when Trump is ignorant and outrageous, there are certain voters who are cheering him on. They, like him, aren’t looking around corners. They don’t care what happens next.

But I am just the opposite. If I see a car darting out in front of my vehicle, my mind fast-forwards to the hospital, where I am lying in double traction, my head wrapped in gauze, the TV blaring “Wheel of Fortune.”

I wish I could say I thought our future under President Trump would be half as cheery.

Liz Soares welcomes e-mail at [email protected]

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