For 216 years our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified.
I feel genuine sorrow for the understandably scared and — they feel — powerless people who have flocked to Donald Trump's campaign in the mistaken belief that a wand can be waved and every complicated problem can be solved with the simplest of solutions.
The sense of commonwealth, of shared sacrifice and of trust that is so much a part of American life, is eroding fast, spurred along and amplified by an Internet that permits a lie to circle the globe three times before the truth can get started.
We no longer have the luxury of neutrality or balance or even of bemused disdain. This is not a liberal or conservative issue; this is an American issue.
Let us pledge today that we will not let this happen to the exquisite, yet deeply flawed, land we all love and cherish and hope to leave intact. Let us nobly save, not meanly lose, the last best best hope of earth.