Trump is an unprecedented danger to democracy. It's time we see him for who he really is.


To borrow part of a phrase from a well-loved former Cincinnati radio personality: Wake up … Republicans.

The great Gary Burbank had an infectious sense of humor. He knew what was funny and what wasn’t.

Here’s something not funny: In a Quinnipiac University poll released Nov. 15, a majority of registered voters (52%) said they’d like to see other candidates enter the presidential race. An astounding 72% of independents said this, along with 58% of Democrats. That’s disconcerting, considering that barring unforeseen circumstances, President Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee.

But here’s the unfunny part: Only 29% of Republicans are dissatisfied with their field, and 67% of Republicans apparently are satisfied with overwhelming front-runner Donald Trump as their presidential nominee.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump gather to hear him speak during a rally, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Bryon Houlgrave)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump gather to hear him speak during a rally, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Bryon Houlgrave)

Is another Trump administration really want Republicans want?

Here’s what the record shows about Trump – no American president has ever been indicted. Trump has now been indicted in four criminal cases:

He and his supporters maintain that these charges are “politically motivated,” among other pleas for understanding and mercy. Really? All the laws Trump stands accused of breaking were on the books long before he came along and allegedly broke them. Several of those charged in connection to Trump’s efforts have pleaded guilty.

Is Trump right about World War III? Here’s why we should be worried.

In his Veterans Day greeting on social media, Trump wrote this:

“In honor of our great Veterans on Veteran’s Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and Radical Left Thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our Country, lie, steal, and cheat on Elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America, and the American Dream. … Despite the hatred and anger of the Radical Left Lunatics who want to destroy our Country, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Several prominent pundits called out that language as all too reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Hitler and the Nazis often spoke of Jews as bugs or rodents in their justification of extermination.

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Bryon Houlgrave)

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. (AP Photo/Bryon Houlgrave)

As has been reported, Trump and his people, if he’s reelected, plan to revive his travel ban and plan “mass deportations” and to put those people in “sprawling camps” as they await deportation.

They also intend to challenge birthright citizenship, the law of the land since adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868. Those “yearning to be free” would have to look elsewhere if Trump is elected. Illegal immigration is a huge problem, but Trump’s proposed solutions are no way to solve it.

Trump also has made it clear that if reelected, he will use the federal government to go after political rivals. Reportedly, he and allies are hatching plans to invoke the Insurrection Act on Day One of his would-be second administration to stifle any protest against him.

Their plans also include replacing thousands of civil servants with loyalists, and establishing a Justice Department staffed with lawyers who will do his bidding, unlike the American tradition of an independent department.

Is America on the brink of tyranny? Trump’s plan if elected in 2024 should frighten us all.

Is this really the administration that so many Republicans, and apparently a lot of independents, want? These are people who presumably care about the way this country is run and what it stands for.

A Trump supporter reacts before former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at Ted Hendricks Stadium at Henry Milander Park in Hialeah, Florida, Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

A Trump supporter reacts before former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at Ted Hendricks Stadium at Henry Milander Park in Hialeah, Florida, Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

Americans deserve to know what’s at stake this election

What played out on Election Day in Ohio, with respect to abortion, is a good example that people care about it when the rights they believe they deserve are threatened. When it comes to Trump, it’s time for all of us to realize that our rights are threatened, and that democracy is precious and worth preserving.

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Based on the poll numbers cited here, the news media are doing a poor job of explaining what’s at stake in this election. In a misguided notion of fairness, media organizations don’t make it clear the unprecedented dangers presented by a presidential candidate who’d turn this country into an autocracy. Then there’s social media, at best a mishmash of truth competing with outright lies and distortion. (That’s another essay on my part.)

It’s time for Republicans and the entire country to look beyond Trump. And as Burbank put it in his complete phrase: “Wake up, America.”

David Caudill is a freelance writer/editor who lives in Mount Lookout, one of the Eastern neighborhoods of Cincinnati, Ohio. He worked in editing positions at The Cincinnati Enquirer for 24 years and left in 2012. This column first published in The Enquirer.

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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Trump is a danger to democracy. It’s time for GOP to look beyond him





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