Reprinted from The Hill
Not since the days of the racist governors of the segregationist South has any American politician so embodied values that are alien to the American idea as Donald Trump does today.
In the America that true patriots love, we are a large and diverse nation of immigrants that came from around the world to build a special place where all people should be treated as equal in a national community of mutual respect and shared purpose.
In the America that the Republican presidential front-runner would create, our republic would become a sectarian war zone. Our democracy would become a place where those with different views would be treated as enemies ruled by a bully who campaigns on a cult of negativity and has recently been called liar of the year by a nationally respected fact-checker.
In the America envisioned by Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, young women could be proud to vote for the first female president. In the America envisioned by Trump, a woman running for the Republican nomination can be demeaned for having a face that the bully considers ugly, and a highly respected television host can be called a bimbo.
In the America envisioned by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, our country would be a place where justice rules the day and economic fairness becomes a way of life. In the America envisioned by Trump, when a black man is beaten up at a rally filled with the politics of dog-whistle bigotry, the candidate suggests that perhaps that man deserved the beating.
In the America envisioned by John McCain -- and his father and grandfather before -- words such as duty, honor, country and service are a family tradition.
McCain, a hero of modern American history, defied his captors in Vietnam and let these true enemies of America continue to torture him because he refused to be released until all of his brother POWs were released by his side. All the while, Trump collected draft deferments on his way to becoming a bully who campaigns to be commander in chief by demeaning POWs as losers, because the man who never served prefers troops who were never captured.
In the America we love, young people are taught that Lady Liberty will always shine brightly in New York Harbor. In the America that Trump envisions, the lie that the Mexican government sends immigrants to America is compounded by the slander that those Hispanic immigrants are mostly rapists and murderers.
In the America that is great, we were raised by our parents and taught in the houses of worship of many faiths to do unto others as we would wish others do unto us.
In the America that would be ruled by the bully, moms and dads of disabled girls and boys must worry their children might inadvertently witness disgusting impersonations of the disabled on television by a man who dares to presume he is worthy to lead the nation while he seeks to lower the standards of our politics to the gutter.
Throughout the nobler moments of our history, Americanism was embodied and defended by men and women from all backgrounds with all points of view who believed that in this land we love, America is a place where we are all in this together. That concept is alien to Trump's politics, which makes Trump's ambition alien to the spirit of America.
The Americans who defeated fascism in wartime did not consider their comrades in arms or the united nation behind them to be fat slobs, bimbos, rapists, murderers, idiots or morons, or disabled Americans worthy of being demeaned by a clown who is unfit to be a commander.
Donald Trump has more in common with the neofascist parties in Europe than with any great party that has ever led our nation. He would not make America great. He would make America hate.
Many leading Republicans in America privately agree with what I write. Most of them lack the courage to say it. I just did.