Democrats, don’t blunder into a Trump re-election.

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As an Army war veteran and former Republican member of Congress, I am repeatedly appalled by the immature, ignorant and intolerant behavior of President Donald Trump. The selfish and arrogant character of Trump marks him as a man unfit to lead the Party of Lincoln and Reagan, let alone be elected or re-elected our president.

As today’s Republican Party turns away from its historic core values centered on individual freedom and increasingly becomes the cult of Trump, Democrats face a historic opportunity. Democrats can unify America around a common theme of optimism, rooted in experience, with the expectation of balanced and reasoned government.

Sadly the energy and enthusiasm of the Democratic Party today is not one of hope, pragmatism and experience, but an infatuation with decrepit socialism and fantasy policies utterly disconnected with financial reality. Seeking to replace a right-wing, angry, populist, demagogue with a left-wing, angry, populist, demagogue is not a real choice. It is a recipe for re-electing Trump.

Among the dozens of Democrats running for president, a couple have stood up for traditional American idealism and experienced common sense. But so far, those candidates running on depth of experience with a message of sensible pragmatism have not ignited excitement among Democrats.

Rather it seems the candidates with the least experience, most outlandish promises, greatest ignorance of American exceptionalism, and wildest embrace of radicalism are the ones generating the most buzz.

Donald Trump does not deserve a second term. Maybe one day in a post-Trump America the Republican Party will regain its senses and return to the hopeful optimism of Ronald Reagan, the selfless courage of John McCain, and the trusted experience of George H.W. Bush.

Until then, the Democratic Party has an amazing opportunity to capture the center of gravity in American politics, unite our people and move our nation forward based on the best ideals of our founding fathers.

I worry, however, that the Democrats appear more interested in trying to out-Trump Trump by embracing ever more angry left-wing populist socialism. If Democrats nominate a modern-day Huey Long to compete against the incumbent modern-day Joseph McCarthy, Americans will face a Faustian electoral choice.

Given such alternatives, Americans will likely stick with the devil they know over the devil they don’t — and Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves when Donald Trump takes the oath of office for a second term as president.

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