It is seldom that the fate of a nation can be traced to what happened on one particular day. But that may be what happens in the United States of America on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.
That is because the front-runners in both political parties are not merely inadequate but appalling — and the vote in this Tuesday’s primaries may be the last chance for the voters to unite behind someone else.
The trends that brought us to this crucial day go back for years. But whatever the paths that led to this crossroads, we are in fact at a crossroads and our future, and our children’s futures, depend on whether we can come up with some presidential candidate better than either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
The dangers are both internal and external. Two of our bitterest enemies — Iran and North Korea — are openly declaring their desire to destroy us. And both are developing intercontinental missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
We will be lucky to survive the damage that has been done already. A third consecutive term of such policies, with Hillary Clinton in the White House, can be suicidal.
As for the Republicans’ front-runner, what is there left to say about Donald Trump? Almost daily he demonstrates that he lacks the maturity, the depth and the character required to lead a nation facing a complex range of dangers.
These are not subtle nuances. They are blatant revelations about something fundamentally wrong. Too many people missed similar revelations about Barack Obama. For that we have already paid a price, and we will continue to pay a price, even after he is gone. So will generations yet unborn.
There is a reason why polls repeatedly show Donald Trump producing the highest negative reactions of any candidate of either party. Yet the small hard core of Trump supporters seem oblivious to his antics, his recklessness and his all-consuming ego.
The only candidate who has any real chance to stop Donald Trump at the ballot box is Ted Cruz. But the Republican elite, who have never liked Senator Cruz, may prefer to stop Trump with chicanery at the convention. That can cost Republicans the votes of Trump’s followers, putting Hillary Clinton in the White House — and the country on the ruinous road to a point of no return.
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