Great Seal

Don’t Panic!

First, to those of you abroad who are friends to America. Don’t worry! We are a strange country filled with strange characters. But our wise founding fathers bequeathed us political institutions that have proved surprisingly strong for more than two centuries. For now, thank goodness, it seems highly unlikely that Mr. Trump could win a majority in the electoral college, and if the worst happens, we have institutions designed to check a wayward executive, and with the strength, under the Constitution, to do it if necessary. True, Republicans in government and in public life will have to find the courage to stand up to the candidate who, apparently, is the choice of the majority of the members of their party. But I am hopeful that many will, in the end, be on the right side of this.

Okay, friends abroad, please cover your ears while I address my fellow Americans.

This is not a drill! Our foreign policy, our commitment to the rule of law, our policy on immigration, our policy on fair treatment for women and religious minorities—really, our policy on most issues, as well as our standing in the world and our national political culture, are all at grave risk. Republicans must be willing to lose an election for the sake of the country. Democrats must be willing to put aside ego and ambition for the sake of the country (Senator Sanders, I’m looking to you for a rousing endorsement of Mrs. Clinton when the time comes!) Political independents need to tune out the noise and decide for themselves whether what they hear about the candidates on talk radio or in the rags is true. Reporters and commentators have to avoid the urge to treat this as a horse race, for the sake of the country. Media companies have to avoid legitimizing Mr. Trump in order to keep the race more competitive in the interest of their own profit, for the sake of the country. Can we do this? Yes we can. I hope.