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David McCullough

“What has the Republican party come to? That at such an unsettling time as this, with so very much at stake, so many momentous, complex problems to be addressed — and yes, so much that we must and can accomplish — why would we ever choose to entrust our highest office, and our future, to someone so clearly unsuited for the job? Someone who’s never held public office, never served his country in any fashion.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who so admirably served his country his entire career, said there were four key qualities by which we should measure a leader: character, ability, responsibility, and experience.

Donald Trump fails to qualify on all four counts. And it should be noted that Eisenhower put character first. In the words of the ancient Greeks, character is destiny.

So much that Donald Trump spouts is so vulgar and far from the truth and mean-spirited; it is on that question of character especially that he does not measure up. He is unwise. He is plainly unprepared, unqualified, and it often seems, unhinged. How can we possibly put our future in the hands of such a man?

We’re on the whole — let’s not forget — a good country, of good people, with good intentions.

Good, even great, leaders have played decisive roles in our history, time after time. We have believed from the start in worthy achievement, and have set landmark examples for how very much can be accomplished when we work together, infused by positive spirit.

Inspired by Theodore Roosevelt, we built the Panama Canal. Led by President Harry Truman, we created the Marshall Plan. President John F. Kennedy called on us to go to the moon — and we went to the moon! Through leadership of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, we ended the Cold War.

And there is no reason that under the right leadership, we can’t continue on that way.”


David McCullough’s short video take on Trump, posted to the Facebook page “Historians on Donald Trump.”

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