American Gut Check

But this dangerous man is incapable of bottling up his dark self for a full 90 minutes. And in the end, he finally crosses the one political barrier he had yet to fully cross — trashing democracy itself, we the people.

.. The remaining enablers — Reince Priebus, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pence — had to know that things were bad when the Republican presidential nominee was tougher on the sainted Ronald Reagan than on the Russian strongman, Vladimir Putin.

.. And they had to know the game was over when another 3 a.m. tweet was blasted out by Trump, with his conclusion that he won, because of online polls that could not pass the vetting of Baghdad Bob.

.. He’s become a very tired and confused 70-year-old man feeding nuts to squirrels in the park of his delusions.

.. Steve Bannon, the former head of a fabulist, far-right website — Breitbart. Bannon is not much of a Republican.

.. “I’m a Leninist,” he said in a conversation recounted by Ronald Radosh in The Daily Beast. “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

.. His debate-night threat, holding the validity of the election itself hostage, is no surprise. Trump is bereft of patriotism, and seems to hate the country he wants to lead. He’s been talking down this nation and its most cherished institutions throughout his campaign. Time and again, he would rather defend Russia than the United States.

.. He’s gone after free speech — that would be the right granted in the amendment just before the only one he knows — threatening his enemies in the press. That same first amendment ensures that a religious test will not be used to judge us — another thing he has thrown to the side.

.. But in the final debate, his true persona was there for all to see — a self-hating American.