By now you've no doubt heard that at a Rochester, New Hampshire town hall, Donald Trump failed to challenge -- in fact, encouraged -- a crazy racist "from White Plains, amen" who claimed that President Obama is a Muslim foreigner, and that Muslims in U.S. training camps are preparing to "kill us".
"When can we get rid of them?" he asked.
"We're going to be looking at a lot of different things," Trump replied. "You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We're going to be looking at that and many other things."
There's one good next move for Trump after sinking this low: withdraw.
If he's as smart as he constantly claims to be, that's exactly what he'll do. Here's why:
- Trump can express alarm and regret at what his campaign has become: a vehicle for the ugliest impulses in American society, including, as the man from White Plains showed, ethnic cleansing.* People love a redeemed a sinner.
- That would save his reputation from the George Wallace/Joe McCarthy toilet it's headed for now, there to stay throughout the rest of history.
- Most importantly (from his point of view), he is not going to win. To avoid his worst nightmare -- being a loser -- he can go out now, while he's on top.
Declare victory, Mr. Trump. Withdraw.
*Not all Trump followers are vicious racists, of course. But Trump is validating and egging on the ones who are -- including, as our history has shown all too often, potential murderers and assassins.