So now, presidential candidate Donald Trump has suggested that his rapidly dwindling followers might want to assassinate his rival if she is elected. Of course he didn't phrase it just that way, and he denies he meant it just that way, but no reasoning person can accept those denials as plausible, and most important, the least sane among Trump's followers very certainly will take his ominous speculation "just that way" that he didn't intend.
So, what's up with Trump? There is only one reasonable answer. As is increasingly being suggested (e.g. by Robert Kagan and Kathleen Parker among others), Mr. Trump is unbalanced, or as country folk used to say, he ain't quite right in the head.
I have resisted the urge to write frequently about Trump's constant outrages. I assume that those who share my outrage don't need to be persuaded, while expressions of indignation would only add fuel to the fire for those who applaud Trump's style.
However, one acquaintance of mine has observed that he can't recall even Hitler or Mussolini overtly calling for their political opponents to be taken out (though I'd suggest that Hitler in particular did in fact foment political violence, just as Trump has sought to do). Since that time it has I think been generally accepted that Hitler was "not all there," even as other megalomaniacal leaders have risen to power in various parts of the world. Never to my knowledge has a nation or a people brought such a person to power through true democratic elections.
Could the United States were to be the first? Polls to date suggest that's not a danger, but we should remain vigilant. Earlier, in this context, I asked if we should "leave well enough alone." I'm answering it now by concluding the Republican candidate is not "well enough."
Trump has to be taken seriously -- because he can't be taken seriously.