5 Reasons to Vote Trump

With Donald Trump, we’d have our own Kim Jong-un.

Comments: 213

  1. For millions of Americans Trump possesses the only qualifications that matter - he is white and male, unlike his opponent or the current President. It is these qualities that make him qualified for the job in their eyes. Let's hope there are enough people who care about the dignity and well being of our country and vote overwhelmingly for Ms Clinton.

  2. What would America be without Trump, Las Vegas, systemic racism? No, don't change! Don't take away the things we outlanders hold onto so that we can feel superior to the US!

  3. Yes, he's white and male. For years that was the only qualification. For some it's still the only qualification that matters. Intelligence, no. Achievements, no. Integrity, no. An ability to apply what's been learned in the past to the present, no. Just be white and male.

  4. It's ironic how we've come full circle, in which observations about people are as base as any racist would make. There were plenty of other white males in running for this presidency, yet the reasons those millions of Americans support this one are at least sightly more complex, not the least which is economic. Claiming it simply boils down being white male is to offer up the most base explanation on par with any Trump's supporters simple label of Hillary as a liar.

  5. It's really hard to assert that many presidential elections were decided by the "human brain", as opposed to the reptilian. The big difference this time is that the appeal to the reptilian brain by one candidate has never been as explicit.

    It's clearly a bad precedent for future elections, and we have to hope that the media, who have served us poorly by putting profit before journalistic responsibility, will work to reverse the trend. I'm not optimistic.

  6. Maybe Trump is needed to heal the deep rift in the american society. After a few month most americans will be united again - against Trump. And maybe the alienated and angry americans realize that wrath is no policy, maybe even the GOP will find the need and a way of cooperation with opposing parties. Trump may be a catharsis.

  7. Reason number 6 Comedy. SNL would have the best skits. Jon Stewart may come back.

  8. I think Lorne Michaels made a horrible mistake putting Trump on SNL early in his run. I certainly hope the American people will have better sense than to choose a leader based on entertainment value.

  9. When many poor Americans see Donald Trump, they see their idea of a bountiful heaven: gaudy opulence, unapologetic greed and a name spelled out in FAT CAPS dripping in gold. To him he represents a god of unlimited luxury and mountains of available cash, servants and jet planes. This is the only reason they need to vote for him. Surely some of those riches will fall to them as well. It's like winning millions in the lottery. Sadly, this is their only criteria for a president. Sadly, this is as deep as their thinking goes.

  10. Poor Americans are NOT the group supporting Donald Trump. Poor Americans are not Ignorant Americans, since they know what it is to be poor and they know the likes of Trump are the ones who want to keep them there. Tracking and other national polls currently show that Trump is "up" only in that demographic making $50K to $100K a year. Above that - and below (poor Americans) - Clinton has more support. The major demographic within that income slice supporting Trump is uneducated whites (both male and female, although especially the former). No wonder, per his remark in February, that DJT "loves the uneducated". This is also a group that has the most disdain for the poor in America, the most disdain for social justice, and so on.

    Why? What is wrong with these people? Are they truly deplorable, or can they somehow be reached and educated in decency and respect for their fellow Americans?

  11. Then how do you explain that so many of them keep voting for Republicans in their State elections?

  12. Probably the main reason that many of the people I know are voting for Trump is that they truly cannot stand the idea of Hillary being our president. To have Bill and Hillary back in the White House is like a bad dream to millions of voters.

  13. Why is that? When Bill Clinton was president, the nation experienced a period of peace and prosperity. We also experienced the radical Congress of Newt Gingrich, which went out of its way to try to destroy the Clintons over a consensual sexual affair between two adults, not the creepy predatory habits for which Trump has been known for years. Isn't the real nightmare our GOP Congress, which has spent eight years similarly dogging Barack Obama, during whose administration we have returned from the brink of the economic disaster and suffered no monstrous attacks like that of 9/11, and will surely do the same to Mrs. Clinton? What accounts for the fondness of Republicans for catastrophic presidencies like that of G.W. Bush?

  14. People may feel having the Clintons back in the White House is a bad dream but Trump is a nightmare.

  15. If Donald Trump is the answer.. The question needs some urgent re-examination..

  16. I think the real takeaway here is that those who think Donald Trump is the answer don't even have a clue what the question is.

  17. It's amazing that Mr. Kristof can tick off a list of hyperbolic reasons why we should fear a Trump presidency - Trump will empower the KKK, he'll trigger a nuclear war, he'll even barge into teen dressing rooms! - and then end his column sanctimoniously lecturing us about how Trump resorts to fear tactics. The Democratic talking points about Trump - which Kristof dutifully repeats, without a whiff of independent analysis (so brave to attack Trump!) - are nothing if not fear tactics. If Trump were really that bad, why not discuss the reasons instead of claiming (falsely, by the way) that he supports the KKK, or that he wants to barge into teen dressing rooms?

  18. Trump is that bad. And he does support the KKK and he does barge into women's and teens' dressing rooms. I didn't see any sanctimony in this column, just someone who's very worried about the upcoming election. Please read any good newspaper in this country, the NY Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Bloomberg.com, and on and on, for great reporting on the many, many worrisome attributes and actions of the RNC candidate.

  19. @P.R. The editorial doesn't say Trump supports the KKK. It says the KKK supports Trump. But it's a fair inference that Trump's sympathies tend toward that racist fringe, since he twisted himself into knots in an interview to avoid disavowing the support of David Duke. Or perhaps he was just pandering to it, which is functionally the same thing as sympathizing. (BTW, voting for Trump is functionally the same thing as sympathizing with his racism.)

    As for teen dressing rooms, he has bragged about how he was "allowed" to walk in on beautiful naked teenagers when he owned the Miss Teen USA contest. That, in my estimation, makes him a pervert -- another constituency Trump speaks for.

  20. RP:

    I suspect you'd accuse anyone noting Trump's campaign connections to hate groups as just partisan talk. Yet for others, see: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/donald-trump-hate-groups-neo... . Yes, Mother Jones is partisan. There are not too many editorial pages that are not.

    Even in more sympathetic hands, it is hard to miss that Trump's vituperative outbursts do not contain the same energy for right-wing extremist groups: http://www.wsj.com/articles/white-nationalists-see-advancement-through-d... . From that WSJ piece:

    "In February, the Anti-Defamation League sent a list of 11 “racist individuals and extremists groups” to all of the Democrats and Republicans running for president, urging them to steer clear. All of those on the list had expressed support for Mr. Trump."

    This is not to say all of his supporters are sympathizers; most are not. It does speak volumes about the candidate himself. I am surprised Mr. Kristoff only lists five elements that make Trump unfit for the presidency--but these days one must keep lists short.

  21. Thank you. You have captured the essence of Trump. Hopefully, enough Americans will see the truth of Trump and will also see through the wildly distorted caricature of Clinton that has been relentlessly pounded into the electorate by alt right media and the Trump campaign.

    Were he to win, within weeks or months his followers will realize the fraud practiced upon them and that they have elected a dangerously inept leader who cares nothing about them, and answers only to the highest bidder (potentially Putin). Then, where will they turn the reptilian rage he has unleashed?

  22. The reptilian rage will be against Trump himself.
    Ever so slowly, will his supporters realize they've been conned.
    Let's hope a President (ew) Trump will have a Mussolini or Romanov like ending.

  23. You do snakes a disservice. They seek warmth, need food, look for comfort, as we all do. They do not hate. They are not violent or racist or tribal. A snake wants little more than to live a quiet life in the shadows, unmolested.

    The Republican candidate, in contrast, is every bad impulse a chimpanzee ever had. The terror is a primate brain that has no control.
    So please, on Tuesday, do not let your inner monkey vote.

  24. And you just insulted chimpanzees...

  25. You're denigrating monkeys. I like monkeys. Trump is more like a rabid, what - dog? No not dog, dogs are nice, fox? no, foxes are cute. Ah, I got it: a rabid skunk! Nobody likes skunks.

  26. I live in an area where the people I know, and work with, are Trump supporters - they have already voted for him. Some are white men, younger rather than older, and one is an educated white woman from a prominent local family. What you have said here Nicholas would not change their mind one iota. Not one bit. Got it?
    Should a President Trump cause catastrophe, they will blame it on whoever they disagree with: Obama, Clinton, Liberals - it really doesn't matter or have to make sense - just find someone. Until someone figures out why that is so, and how to remedy it, America will stay impossibly divided and vulnerable to collapse from within. I am, BTW, 63, white, blue collar - a Bernie supporter who is holding his nose and voting for Hillary. If Trump wins, he may well destroy the GOP as we know it today but that is no cause for celebration because there won't be much left worth having. If Hillary wins, the Democrats will possibly be in tatters in four years - she will be ripped from within by the far left and ripped from without by the Republicans. Are there any un-bought grown-ups remaining in US politics? Were there ever any?

  27. I think that the whole country needs psychotherapy. This whole election has been driving us crazy and forget why we live here.

  28. The Roosevelts.

  29. Since you ask, Nick, I'd say we the people today are fearful, instinctive reptiles, not reasoning humans. Which might explain next week why Donald Trump may well be elected next week.

  30. "A famous Sanskrit proverb says - vinaash kaale vipreet buddhi - meaning, when one's destruction time is soon to arrive, one thinks unintelligently or negatively."

    In my words: "Vinasha kale viparith buddhi" means that when one's doom approaches, then one's mind, one's intelligence works perversely. One may know how to dodge the bullet; but all one's wisdom becomes ineffective. One becomes like a moth attracted to the flame, unable to reverse course, even when one knows better.

    That is what has affected the Trump-embracing American electorate.

  31. HRC has three major things going agains her: her husband, who, if she is elected, will have to be tightly controlled; her age - she will be nearly 80 if she wins two terms; and her history. If she wins the election, she must do one thing immediately, though she will never read this comment: she might have two years with a majority Senate, and in it she will have to realize that she is privileged to be in that position, and must carry out some brave items: Supreme Court appointments, cleaning up the electoral system, enact meaningful financial regulations to prevent an impending crash, even if it annoys her friends, fix the tax system for overseas corporations, and individuals who hide their assets overseas. For starters. Then she must go about cleaning up the DNC, and make sure that there is another younger cadre of Democrats to succeed her. There is a vacuum, and obliviousness of the DNC with this problem. Ideally, she will step aside after one term - she might lose against a candidate other than Trump - and in her place put Warren. See? I am at a loss who else to replace her? There is no one but Warren with the skills to succeed Clinton, and this is a major problem.

  32. It will be interesting to see how Tim Kaine develops on the national stage. In Virginia, at every level of elective office, he grew in wisdom and execution.

  33. A Democratic party with "no one but" Elizabeth Warren to follow Hillary?
    Such a problem! I can only hope that Hillary concludes the job is too much for her after 3.5 years, and clears the way for Warren to follow!
    There's light at the end of the tunnel, after all!

  34. You do realize that Trump is older than Hillary Clinton, and that women typically live longer than men? So I don't understand how Clinton's age is something "going against her."

  35. Why are millions of Americans nowadays expressing an intense dislike of Mrs. Clinton?

    She has been a familiar figure in our political culture for many years and yes, her politics are of a decidedly liberal bent. But so what? Millions of other productive, worthwhile Americans share her ideas and hopes for the future.

    The craziest idea currently floating around this country is that Mrs. Clinton is a highly dishonest individual. This is complete nonsense. Mrs. Clinton is, if anything, a perfectly normal politician and human being who except for a few minor peccadillos during her long
    political career has conducted herself in exemplary fashion. She naturally looks to her personal advantage whenever she can, but so do we all.

    Conservatives like myself are entitled
    to vehemently object to her liberal ideas, but thinking of her as an exceptional crook is ridiculous.

    Americans looking for an unstable, out-of-control politician to despise have in Mr. Trump the ideal candidate
    for the job.

  36. How about you offer a coherent, informed comment like A. Stanton?

  37. This was much funnier than the original piece...thanks!

  38. Thank you. It is refreshing and a relief to have a self-described conservative in agreement with me, a self/ described liberal.

  39. There are those (white males) in law enforcement -- federal, state, and local -- who want to turn our country (after 8 years of simmering frustration of having an African-American Commander-in-Chief) into a police state where civil liberties will be sacrificed on the altar of "law and order." They know that electing Donald Trump (through the intervention of James Comey) is their only path. So another reason to vote for Donald Trump, for those who think the benefits of the Bill of Rights are overblown (other than, of course, the Second Amendment), a Trump Presidency will give our country a nice test of how life will be with fewer civil liberties and how those in power will be above the law, and those out of power will be their vassals.

  40. The LE members I know experience the reptilian brain everyday and are called to deal with the resulting violence, chaos and disfunction caused by the resultant behaviors. I reckon there are those few LE members functioning occasionally with a reptilian brain, but I also know that the San Francisco Police Academy and many others are eight months long with a year of Field Training and evaluation to train away that reptile brain and separate bias and prejudices from competent action and protocols in problem solving. And every Law Enforcement member and their families know that one can do everything exactly right, legally and with the best intentions and still be killed, indicted and fail in the mission. And to do the job, one must have faith in the system, to also do the right thing, judge the right way, and have the best intentions, so most will go home that night. In this, society treats the fallen better than the living.

  41. Five thumbs up!

  42. This isn't even funny!

  43. The lizard brain cell gene has published the Republican party's manual for its voters, a five step plan to make America hate again. This VA, no, not the Veterans Administration -- the VA, a voters anonymous "health" center that regularly holds meetings for its aggrieved members to vent their anger and resentment at at country they feel has left them behind. Like the cobra hidden in a basket, the angry and ugly American has responded to the musician's discordant notes from their leader and has stirred malevolently in the dark, ready to emerge with fangs bared and spew forth its deadly venom, all in the name of therapy and change. Just another day's work the for the would-be snake oil salesman-in-chief.

  44. Pathetic hit piece. You shills are getting desperate. Speculation is not a convincing argument.

  45. Even my brain stem hates Trump, recognizing a treat to everything I hold dear.

  46. And don't forget how much he had to sacrifice when he built his buildings.

    Again, we should be grateful for the privilege of voting for him because he has a good brain, and not only that, look at the size of his hand, and he is so honest.

    And yes, he is smart too because he paid no taxes. He is a God-sent gift to this nation. What more reason do we need?

  47. Mr. Kristof, you statement that "talent is universal, but opportunity is not" is completely flawed, as much of your other philosophies regarding poverty.
    You are seeking only what fits your philosophy. A good journalist looks at all the situations without any bias. You belong in the NYT.

  48. If you think all children in the USA have equal opportunity then your own privilege combined with a lack of empathy for those less fortunate has made you blind. Or are you even worse, and are questioning his premise that all humans have equal potential?!

  49. If you're trying to construct a coherent argument, you've failed completely.

  50. The reptilian part of my brain is telling me to vote for Clinton, not Trump. I have never been so fearful of a presidential candidate as I am of Trump. War, financial crises, reduction/elimination of civil rights, global and societal instability are a few of the results I fear of a trump presidency. Fight or flight? Fight for Clinton; flight from Trump.

  51. If Donald Trump can be president of the United States after his boasts about sexual assault and a number of women coming forward to corroborate what he himself admitted to, then the country ought to have no problem with Bill Cosby developing his next comedy series about life with a blind grandfather.

  52. Good question Nick: Reptiles or human beings?

    Our reptilian brains got us out of the pond and able first to crawl, then to stand on our two feet.

    Trump wants us to plunge backwards into our primal impulses, ignoring science, ethics, philosophy and even religion. He wants us to abandon 'truth'.

    How can we have let this neo-Neanderthal become a candidate for the presidency?

  53. You've convinced me. Aside from the prospect of nuclear Armageddon, how much worse can things get under Mr. Trump than they have been on Mr. McConnell? Who needs health insurance or government anyway?

  54. It is amazing that a mature, advanced democracy, supposed to be a role model for budding new democracies and for third world countries can come up with only a candidate of Trump's stature speaks a lot about American voters. I am not saying that Hillary is perfect either, she also proves my point. The whole world is watching this spectacle and remains astonished. They hear so much about rigged election and corruption scandals in this presidential election in America, they are amazed and wonder how things degenerated
    to this extent. Has America become a banana republic like some third world countries? Who ever gets elected, it does not matter, the image is tarnished already. I will blame the American voters for this calamity.

  55. Padman, once you bring the world into it, the equation changes. As others watch this country battle its way to Election Day, they marvel at our stupidity. Hillary Clinton, yes, the most respected woman in the world, in an actual race with the least respected male, and we Americans have made this so. Surely they wonder how a population this limited is fit to lead.

  56. Too subtle for the GAP (Great American Public). When this is over, we will have to address the evidence of the results of a very poor educational system. Most Americans seem to be superficial thinkers.

  57. Quatt, the question is how most Americans became superficial thinkers. I blame our media's bias, corruption and cowardice. We can't really beat the bias and corruption, but the cowardice is an area where change can happen. NPR, like CNN and MSNBC, for example thinks it is journalism to put a pathological liar, who regurgitates talking points and never engages in actual discourse, out ther to balance an honest expert on a topic. The most appalling was when the tobacco debates were going on and they would put out "experts" who denied that smoking caused cancer. This enables people to beleive whatever makes them feel good because there are experts on both sides and that makes their perspective reasonable. NPR enabled people to remain smoking because they portrayed that perspective as a respectable one merely by giving it a platform.

  58. There are many good reasons to vote against the Democrats, but no good reasons to vote for Trump. This is the true tragedy of our election choices - the result will not solve anything, but rather will further radicalize the losing side. The election season has been bad enough, but I shudder to think of what will emerge from the swamps in the next round of presidential primaries.

  59. Nick Kristof conveniently left reason #6 off of his list -- the general public's disgust with conventional political hacks who keep making all sorts of grandiose promises to improve the quality of their lives in exchange for their support. Once the election is over those promises fizzle away quickly and it's back to the same old/same old once again. The rapid rise of Donald Trump against the best of the best that the GOP had to offer in 2016 is a backlash against the tried and true "politics as usual" routine.

    Besides, according to the Constitution, there are only two basic qualifications that a potential presidential has to fulfill--he or she has to be 35 and a citizen born in the United States. Therefore, our founding fathers have already decided for us that Donald Trump is qualified to be president.

  60. But Donald Trump is making grandiose, although potentially damaging, promises. In fact, he worse in this respect. He's not going to be able to deliver (and may not even want to do that) on most of his promises, starting from the wall. Although I believe Trump is a fascist and may have a potentially destabilizing effect, I take comfort in the fact that not much of what he is promising will be done.

  61. On June 1974, the Heimlich maneuver was published. It had one purpose: to save someone who was choking. On October 8th, the Trump maneuver was revealed to us. It had two purposes: frighten, embarrass, shock the woman and gratify the sexual desires of the perpetrator.
    Any woman who votes for Donald Trump is in essence saying that they have no problem with the Trump maneuver, and in fact, should not raise any concerns if they are unfortunate to have the Trump maneuver performed on them. If they are lucky enough to not meet the Trump groping standards, they might have a mother, sister, daughter who would and then be fair game.
    Any man who votes for Donald Trump is also accepting the Perpetrator-In-Chief’s maneuver, so shouldn’t complain if it is done on a loved one or someone else that they know.

  62. 'Why We voted for the Stupidest Man in America' might make a good title. It was our destiny, or better still our fate, and we gave up free will? Trump does not strike this American as an evil man. Should he win the Election on November 8, he is going to be a fighead in the White House, and the Republicans will continue to make our Nation more insular. Those of us who are struggling to make our daily bread, or living on food coupons, hopefully will survive at the mercy of scraps and orts cast to us in moments of generosity. But what cheers this American is thinking of a friend, who would have roared with laughter in telling him that Trump was the President before asking 'What happened?', while I was gone.

  63. Yes, how utterly right on you are Miss Ley, Trump will be the Fig Head in Chief. Just what we need.

  64. Be cautious, Miss Ley. Remember the old saying about the banality of evil. Evil can creep up, and no one may notice.

  65. Desperation sets in, columnists everywhere running around with hair on on fire.

    How does the saying go? We get the government we deserve.

  66. 1) We tried a know-nothing President. He opened us up to the 9/11 attacks, started 2 wars he couldn't finish, doubled unemployment, turned a budget surplus into a deficit and gave us 3 of the most unConstitutional acts.
    2) After years of discredited claims that Bill Clinton is a rapist, Trump is actually being sued for raping a child. The fraudulent GOP leaders of the House and Senate for the last 20 years have paralyzed government.
    3) Reagan was VERY entertaining with his winning smile and fast quips. His economic policies weren't immediately apparent as catastrophic because Paul Volcker, head of the Fed, bailed him out by bailing the rest of us out.
    4) The last 2 openly bigoted Presidents were Richard Nixon and Woodrow Wilson. Nixon was the first President to use bigots' "code words". Wilson destroyed much of the advances African-Americans had made by purging the Civil Service. But Nixon was the first Republican President who was openly racist and anti-Semitic.
    5) Every reptile in the world is insulted at being compared to Donald Trump. He's not a lizard or a snake. He's merely the worst a human male can be.

  67. "Who needs experience to be president?"

    Apparently over 40% of the electorate thinks experience is not important, but, sadly, not all of them are "poorly educated," Trump's favorite voters.

    It is unlikely that any of Trump's supporters would hire someone with no experience to fix their plumbing just because the person said, "I'll make your plumbing great again."

    But, thanks mainly to GOP's successful efforts to paint Hillary Clinton as the devil, the country is considering electing someone who has:

    - used illegal immigrants to fix the immigration problem
    - used Chinese steel to build his buildings and made Trump branded items abroad to fix the trade imbalance problem
    - insulted veterans to fix veterans' problems
    - paid little in taxes to fix the tax code
    - painted the military as a disaster to take care of ISIS
    - and on and on

    Only in America! Sadly.

  68. "Liar, liar, pants on fire!"
    I would add that having a compulsive liar might be refreshing. It might encourage the American people to realize that we are all dishonest in many areas of life. Why not admit it?

    The only thing we have to fear is... Donald (Lying) Trump?

  69. If Trump is elected, we will not know who is in control of government. When I mention this to Trump supporters they have nothing to say because this is never brought up by the media. His lack of governing experience is a real concern. I wouldn't try to be a surgeon tomorrow. This misinformation is the fault of the media, who promote Trump without any concern for reality or truth, only ratings. Trump has an image derived from reality TV. The reality about his taxes, his business and personal dealings have received less attention, and for Clinton, its all "feelings" and "like-ability" a Trump media creation. Don't blame the Trump voters who believe what you, the media, tell them. I saw a well researched Frontline weeks ago about the lives of both candidates. What struck me was the quality of people who surround Trump, his legal team, who delight in innuendo, accusing plaintiffs of what they are being sued for first, loudly, and other shady tactics far worse than anything on the other side. See how well this has worked to intimidate the FBI Director, who may well give the election to Trump without any real news at all? I call this the "Mommy he did it first" lie. Trump voters are frustrated, work hard, make too little, but they listen well to what the media has told them. They don't make this up, you, the media, do.

  70. Liberals see this election as a choice between a candidate who is unqualified and one who is highly qualified to hold public office. Conservatives see this as a choice between a candidate who is unqualified and one who has the skills to advance (in their view) the radical leftist agenda. Many conservatives feel that Hillary could do much more long term damage than Trump, such as by filling the judiciary with more leftists.

  71. Thank Mr. Kristof - loved this morning's editorial! I do have one reason for not voting for Mr. Trump - my mother told me never to do anything I would be ashamed of telling someone about!

  72. I can't wait until Trump is president so he can dispense pearls of wisdom that will ring through the ages. I've got a few suggestions for him:
    - The tweet is mightier than the sword.
    - Speak loudly and carry a crazy stick.
    - The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Also immigrants.

  73. It is not fair or balanced to refer to Trump as "our own Kim Jong-un". The media has become our Kim Jong-un with no facts and no reliable balance in their opinion.

  74. Reason 6: The Democrats are running a poor candidate who is carrying a lot of baggage. The party establishment settled on her for '16 shortly after Obama was nominated in '08. The First Woman President, you know. It has groomed her to the exclusion of all others ever since. An unknown elderly socialist from a small state was selected as her primary sparing partner and she had trouble with him. No matter, the coronation continued as scheduled. The party has wasted seven years when potentially better candidates could have been considered. God help us all not to pay a huge price for that hubris.

  75. From ancient times to today, the reptilian brain has won out. No matter how many times we hear fables such as The Tortoise and the Hare, the Grasshopper and the Ant or the Little Red Hen, even as we understand the moral, the "correct answer", we fail to act correctly and fail to act in our own best interest.

    Find your local forty-something and ask him or her some questions:

    --How much did you save for retirement today?
    --Did you have the vegetable plate or the double cheeseburger for lunch?
    --When is the last time you exercised?
    --Aside from a client at work, have you helped a stranger in any way today?
    --If you had the money, would you buy the biggest car or biggest house you could find?
    --Are you more afraid of terrorists in your community or lightning?

    Fear, insecurity, pain and disease which we all experience in some measure all drive us further from the cerebral cortex. Choosing the long-term gain over the quick high is very difficult as we shall see on Tuesday.

  76. 1. Louis Gohmert
    2. Darryl Issa
    3. John Mica
    4. Jeff Sessions
    5. Chuck Grassley

    As D.H. Lawrence wrote, Lets Have A Revolution For Fun!

  77. Good column but. People who really only look at head lines might think Kristoff is for Trump
    Not a good idea at this late hour

  78. Although Kristof writing simplifies for his readers I don't think they are that simple but in a better world he would be able to come up with at least ten but in a highly feminized society where dislike for an individual leads to his total negation. He's right about this but wrong about that might be too confusing for some.

    Remember when men could work together even if they hated each other and had nothing in common.

  79. Trump's son reminds me of Malfoy and his followers are all either Slitheren or Slitheren wannabees. So Mr. Kristoff fails to understand that he just praised Trump by saying that "The Donald" appeals to our reptilian brains.

    Of course Trump doesn't know what "puerile" means, but his refutation is obvious and Kristoff has no way of refuting Trumps argument:

    "I am not puerile. YOU are. You pueriled first and are the puerilest person ever. Ever. I mean that."

  80. You forgot "believe me".

  81. DT is like the bad boyfriend your mother warned you about and all your friends tells you to leave. He does however bring drama to your otherwise mundane life. And if he hasn't beaten you in the last week...you start liking him again.

  82. Omg so true. When you see these men coming out in fulk force to defend him on Politico articles, etc.- the denial is so fierce & intriguing, the first thing that comes to mind is the undying devotion of some hysterical woman on Jerry Springer...blindly defending their scandalous man.

  83. And let's remember that part of what we're talking about here is the reptilian stem of the MALE human brain, which perceives women as prizes (see Trump), as property (see Trump), is disgusted and offended by women who refuse to submit (see Trump), prefers women who've been hobbled, veiled, isolated, and silenced, impregnated ... etc etc.

    (Yes there are many American women who hate Hillary and will vote for Trump, that nasty, empty thug. I haven't yet figured out their brains.)

  84. Apologies. Revision.

    Given Donald Trump's long history as an arbiter and sponsor of beauty pageants and a peeper in the dressing rooms of many young, half-dressed female contestants, it would have been useful to note that certain inflated and aggressive reptilian men prefer that "their" women be either veiled ... or helplessly exposed.

  85. Look at the bloodbath they've spawned on Hillary Clinton's public facebook page. Trump's brain damaged hate-mongers come out by the thousands every day to rip on every picture/post. Hundreds of them are women who want her head on a platter...and what's interesting is, none of these vicious Trump women show their FACE on their profile pics. Very remarkable pattern I've noticed. You'll see scenery or a Trump logo in lieu of an actual person. Not sure if that's because they're "bots" - or because they aren't a "10" in Trump world. It's like they have internalized the shame he imbues on women's looks, and yet instead of rebuking what he stands for- they beat down another women (Hillary) with brutal, irrational intensity, for everything under the sun....and to think- Hillary is just a political icon, this is no one who has so much as caused a single tear to the faces of their children or robbed them of a single luxury. These woman are like rapid warthogs .

  86. Trump is for Trump, that's it.
    -This is all just a game that he must win at all cost, even if it means inciting chaos and even more disunity than ever before.
    -His contempt of his own supporters is often visible ("I love the poorly educated"). He will not do a thing to make their lives better- his entire career has been about exploiting what he considers to be inferior, "little people" to shore up his insatiable narcissism.
    - The polls are apparently only rigged when he is down in them. They seem to be working just fine when they show him in the lead.
    - He has the attention span of a field mouse, forever distracted by the first shiny object that passes his field of vision. He is incapable of prioritizing- and must compulsively weigh in on every slight. What will happen when he tries to engage another world leader in a Rosie O'Donnell-style twitter war? Because you know he will.
    -He says the US is a joke around the world because of Obama? With this election cycle, because of Trump, we are barely credible.

  87. His followers claim to be "patriotic" despite the fact that they hate everything about America from the media to the government - not to mention an establishment that ever seeks to uplift gays, blacks & women (the very people Trump supporters would like nothing more to beat down to a pulp).....They're patriots of Trump, and they pledge allegiance to Hate.

  88. We're not credible to the civilized world, we are the laughingstock of civilization.

  89. Priceless!

  90. Has Donald Trump ever kept a promise?

  91. He's a pathological narcissist. Keeping promises, telling the truth, and winning fair & square are not part of his M.O.

    Trial in November for his fraudulent "University" - and in December, a jury will likely send him to jail for statutory rape.

  92. Given his showman and superficial instincts, a Trump presidency could introduce uniformed Secret Service Officer uniforms more garish than the costumes worn for a time by Nixon's White House police. Trump himself may appear in pseudo-military garb befitting a commander-in-chief (perhaps as the first US six-star personage), complete with side arms. Using our homegrown militia wackos, he may well sanction and unleash his own version of the Russian Night Wolves and Nazi SA or brown shirts. Given presidential powers, who would stop him? As we've seen already, a loud mouth simplistic strong man appeals to many in our society (including our military and enforcement organizations). Those who might have done so earlier, especially among Republicans, proved themselves to be shallow, incapable and vain. They forfeited their opportunities then and their moral standing now. What have we become and how will we return, standing firmly on our constitutional foundation, to the best within us?

  93. In addition....
    6. To Teach HRC a lesson by cutting off your nose to spite your face.
    7. To send a message to the DNC for all their dirty dealings. Democrats should not eat their own. Teach them a lesson as well.
    8. To remove Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner from our lives forever.
    Not everyone gets sarcasm, more the pity.

  94. 7. Remove our lives from our lives.

  95. I would say that's taking it way too far. Justify your devotion for Trump all you want, but you're missing the mark by blowing Hillary-related excuses way out of context.

  96. I assume reasons 1-4 are intended more as satire; Reason 5 is based on neurological fact. The vast majority of humans see themselves as far more intentional, well-intended, and rational than we actually are. There are many pushable buttons and automated responses in us than we like to believe.

  97. Let me add, Twain said: " DENIAL ain't just a river in Egypt."
    Trump has helped the nation to focus on problems we are denying. He has help us realize that millions of Americans hold his crazy dangerous views. Our nation may be better off that these views came out in the open.

  98. Many of us knew about those millions of Americans. It explains lots of things that many people assume are aberrations, because they didn't realize how many people actually hold, or at least are subliminally sympathetic to, those views. All we have to do is take our blinders off.

  99. This is not funny. Also the three women you say you know were assaulted by Trump should come forward, rather than let you casually drop this item in a column that also includes a haha reference to nuclear war.

  100. I agree but I know of two that have received death threats.

  101. It's imperative that a sexual assault victim be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not to come forward--to police, to friends and acquaintances, to the media. This is precisely what is lost in sexual assault--the right to decide for oneself.

  102. It's easy to say that when you aren't the one that might suffer the consequences of coming forward.

  103. Thanks for the laugh! You convinced me--I'm with him. Especially if I get to embrace my inner storm trooper.

  104. I am very afraid. The Republicans are reaping what they've sowed but unfortunately the rest of America will suffer. I don't know if the Union can survive this. And no I don't think my fear is over the top. This could go very badly for us. A President who doesn't understand how government works hiring people with zero qualifications who want to make America great again like it was in the 1950s? It wasn't so great for white college educated women and I don't want to go back to that again. It was horrible for black Americans. Institutional racism was the law of the land. I don't want to go back to that again either.

    Who are these 40 percent of Americans who care zero for the progress that has been made. In the 1950s they didnt live such great lives either. They worked in factories where their health was compromised and they died young. Do they want that again? They didn't have health care at all. They had to work long and hard to earn their pensions which were minimal at best. When they retired they had Social Security but no medicare. Do they want to give that up?

  105. And let's not forget the nasty and unhealthy environment of the 1950's - industrial air pollution, lead, cigarette smoke, nuclear dust - all of which led to lower life expectancy. Most current American voters were either not alive or were children in the 1950's. So they want life to be as it was in their carefree childhoods? Sounds great, but unworkable for a society.

  106. If I sound too judgmental in what you are about to read, please forgive me. I am trying to be totally honest. So, let me begin.

    Much of Trump's support comes from "low information voters". We've all heard the stunning statistics about how many don't even have a rudimentary understanding of how our government works, i.e. the role of the three branches, etc. And that's just the beginning. Also, many of them don't follow the news closely, preferring instead to go about their daily routine without seriously considering the larger questions in life.

    So, where are they getting their information? Television, mostly; and Talk Radio to a lesser extent. They're not avid readers or inclined to think deeply beyond surface appearances.

    Many generally don't delve into the real political and national news events of the day, preferring instead to "escape" reality at the end of their work day. Any news they do get is of the homogenized variety that really doesn't address the central questions.

    It's also important to realize that the major television networks are privately owned and have differing political agendas. Some lean Left and some lean Right and some are obviously either Left or Right. So news is typically "slanted". News stories are often highlighted in various ways that attempt to sway their viewership in certain political directions.

    So we rely on our news media to educate the public and uneducated people are easily swayed by what they see and hear. And there you have it.

  107. it's not that uneducated people are easily swayed by what they see and hear, per se. It is that they lack the perspective to properly analyze who and what is trying to sway them, or to successfully put aside implicit biases when facts contradict them.

  108. You are just plain wrong. Many Republicans stayed awake in Civics class and understand very well the danger Trump may cause. However, the idea of voting for someone who advocates the killing of unborn children is simply hard to stomach. I know both sides of the abortion issue would rather see none in the long run - and it is my hope this comes to pass.

    Personally, I voted for Hillary; however, I understand people who just can't do so - they aren't stupid or racist - just hopeful all life will be appreciated.

  109. I think Republicans have more difficulty voting for Trump than Democrats for Clinton. A few that I've talked to absolutely hate Trump. But, as would be expected, they find it hard to vote for Clinton, with her liberal leaning agenda, and trustworthy issues. So what do they do? If they don't vote or vote for a third party candidate, out of protest, that might just help Trump, by taking away a vote for Clinton. What do they do? I hope they see the light and vote for Clinton, as many prominent Republicans have already decided to do.

  110. Wishful thinking.

  111. I have yet to understand how people can question Clinton's trustworthiness while giving Trump a pass. It must have something to do with propaganda from: 1) the last two years of millions of dollars worth of free publicity by the media; 2) Fox News and fellow travelers who are propaganda arms, first for the GOP and now the alt-right wing; 3) the main stream media which glosses over Trump's history while ignoring the issues; 4) the brazen political activism by the director of the FBI; and 5) the repetition of disparaging adjectives and outright lies, such as "nasty woman" and "crooked Hillary."

    Add all of these up and what do we get?

  112. The time for protest votes was during the primaries. Better yet, people should have been making their voices heard all along. Messing around during Presidential elections is too little too late, especially when we have allowed the choices presented to us in 2016 to happen.

  113. I appreciate your point Mr. Kristof but I am no longer in a jovial mood even if your underlying message is right on serious. I am worried. Period. Time to be clever is over. Your friend Mr.Blow hits the nail on the head today.

  114. You will never be a comedy writer. Stick to writing about poverty in Africa, where you can actually make a difference.

  115. Comedy and satire are not one in the same. Satire in this essay is amusing.

  116. I disagree. This made me laugh out loud.

  117. Nick Kristof and Steven Pinker. Hooray!! Two of my faves. My amygdala tingle has in recent days, and particularly after reading Douthat, amped up to a lethal voltage. Just reading this column has tuned it down a notch. I think I'll go for a walk in my woods. Even if the worst happens, I know that there are people like you two doing the good work. Please stay in touch.

  118. Another reason: Poor Mr. Trump earns so little once all his expenses and business losses are taken into account, he needs the promise of lifelong heavily-taxpayer-subsidized healthcare for himself, his wife and ALL his children (however many there may be.)

  119. Seems to me that Mr. Kristoff is being a bit hard on the snakes, lizards and crocodiles. If they could speak, they'd probably be insulted by being compared to Trump.

  120. It would be more useful to talk about all the problems Trump has correctly identified, but why his solutions - to the extent he has told us what they are - aren't the best choice. He isn't going to nuke anybody, his supporters aren't all idiots. His supporters are asking for jobs and security and a reason to feel proud, again, to be part of a great America. It wasn't so great of America to let the big corporations move everything overseas and shift all the wealth to the top .01%. I'm not voting for Trump, but I think it is important to understand the legitimate concerns of his supporters. We all would like to see better trade deals and a more robust economy, and I think Clinton's careful approach has a better chance of success than Trump's slash taxes on the rich (again) and deregulate everything (again) plan. It's too late, at this point, for it to do any good, but it would be better to educate people than to spend so much energy writing about people who don't agree with you as racist, reptilian, nuclear-button-happy crotch-grabbers.

  121. It would appear that supporters of "The Entertainer" should have had better education in their High School courses. Now it is too late.

  122. and how exactly are you planning to help a 50 yo welder whose job has been outsourced to China/Mehico .. and latest jobs need you to be conversant in Python or Scala and know what Bayesian inference is.

    We Democrats truly feel for guys like that whose skills are truly obsolete in this country.. and we feel the best way forward to help people like Trump supporters is a strong safety net and retraining. What do Republicans propose? - More tax cuts - which if you examine rigorously will only benefit the super rich and hasten our descent into a dystopian society.

  123. peter, too many Trump supporters - sadly, even some of his top surrogates - are not interested in being educated. Many of the more intellectual ones will even sheepishly admit they don't think some of what he spouts is good or can be put into effect - they just want Change because they think the system is "rigged" against them. Many are just hoping to get a couple Supreme Court justices who will think their way, and have a President that will be so bored with the day-to-day job that he will rubber stamp most everything the Republicans shove onto his desk as long as he and his family won't be harmed by it.

  124. Wow! A very big gamble, Mr Kristof!
    Are you sure people are willing to read past your headline?

  125. Let's be serious. Trumps got a win, win going. One, God for bid, he actually wins this thing. The other, remaining on the scene as a thorn in the country's side as we try to compromise and re-energize after this tremendous distraction of a election cycle.

  126. This isn't just a big distraction. People need to learn from what has happened during this Presidential campaign. Some ugly truths about a larger than expected dark underbelly to our country have been brought to light. Implicit bias is an inevitable function of intelligence, but our schools don't teach us how to absorb that and compensate for it - and it operates in all thinking, race being only one aspect. It's the feature in human beings that allows con artists to flourish and people like Trump to possibly become President of the United States. It's probably what led Comey to behave as he has regarding the investigation into Clinton's email practices, usurping the responsibilities of his AG because evidently he doesn't trust her - consciously or subconsciously.

    Combine that with fear triggering our reptilian brains, and no fact, no construction of geometric logic, can stand the onslaught. Once we become determined to believe a certain line of belief, our ability to rationalize can easily find reasons to keep believing, discarding any annoying evidence to the contrary.

  127. I do want to be entertained but the quality of the entertainment matters and Trump is not up to my standards for intelligent entertainment. I'd rather listen to Clinton's earnest wonkishness as she explains why we need to try this or stop that. Besides, I get tired of hearing the same insults in different contexts and I really dislike it when a candidate or an elected official insults my intelligence the way Trump and GOP have.

  128. The entertainment comes from the comedians, like those on Saturday Night Live, making fun of Trump.

    Probably too high a price to pay for the laughs, though.

  129. Our 8-year-old grandson finds Larry, Moe and Curly entertaining. Pretty highbrow stuff compared to Trump's entertainment potential, which for me wore thin and then out months ago.

    Smart boy.

  130. I've come to the conclusion, Nicholas, that nobody here, or anywhere, can write anything or say anything or do anything to change the trajectory we are on.

    If Trump were an ordinary Republican--hey, even a mildly wild one--it might be bearable. But given the laundry list of things this man has gotten away with over the arc of his business career, and the list of incendiary statements he's made just in the past 18 months, it's not.

    Once the votes are cast, we really have no choice. Half the country will vote for a change agent who makes mockery of the word change. As for "buyer's remorse," if elected Trump won't allow any do-overs, like apparently the Brexit crowd might possibily get from their Parliament.

    I know the country is angry. Trump supporters are angry at everything, Clinton supporters are angry at Director Comey, and the fact that sleaze, insults, and curbs on civil liberties loom high in our futures.

    My biggest fear about Trump is his inability to take criticism--resulting in lashing out at all Americans who didn't support him. My second biggest fear is suppression of a free press. And my third, naturally, is the state of foreign affairs and what might happen when a wild man with a nasty temper does something more than just bring Clinton accusers to a family forum debate.

    At the risk of being trite, we will get the leader we deserve. At least, some of us will.

  131. I agree with all that had been said here. But I truly think that god forbid the orange buffoon gets elected Pencewill run the government into the ground for him. Katich said that when he was asked by Junior buffoon if he would consider that vice presidency because if he did he could run domestic and foreign affairs. Kasich then asked what would your father do? and the answer was he will make America great !

  132. This is still a government of, by, and for the People. Barring a military takeover of the government led by him, Trump can't do very many things that can harm our democracy unless we let him get away with it. If we do, we have gotten the nation that we deserve. Same goes for Clinton.

    How many of those who are eligible or could be eligible to vote will actually vote this Nov. 8th? And in every state and local election? How many of those who usually vote actually care about policies and the records of those running instead of just voting the party line? Heck, how many people take the initiative to learn enough about the world to make a reasonably intelligent decision about who and what to vote for?

  133. Why is it Hillary supporters are not mad at Hillary?
    The Clinton's ooze corruption and your not even phased by it. Your mad at the investigator!
    Really sad times in the USA

  134. The truth about this Presidential election is that on one side we have a political party and on the other side we have the Trump mob, aided by the tattered remnants of a political party.

  135. One one side we have a polical party so steep in corruption that it is unprecedented, but the lefists just don't seem to care.
    We also have a media just as corrupt as the democrats
    Sad times in America.

  136. As a Progressive aligned with the views of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, I have entertained just one reason to vote for Trump, and that would be to start a revolution. The rationale would be that forces of self-interest have kept power in the hands of the wealthy so that reforms beneficial to our whole society are continually thwarted. It is as if we were playing a game of pool where the rack of balls had a magnetic attraction to one another that kept compassionate politicians from putting Progressive balls into the pockets. Trump could break the gridlock, unleashing chaos that might bring a leftward swing. I am dissuaded from this argument by the vision of right wing wackos running the table or of Trump sinking the eight ball.

  137. I was about to coax you down from the ledge but happily, you found your way back on your own. Good going!

  138. This is like burning the house one lives in because one doesn't like the color of the walls. Scary.!

  139. Ahh but there is the problem...unleashing chaos that might bring a leftward swing..."might." It might not bring such a swing and might bring a rightward swing. You may not feel that you have anything to lose by gambling, but many Americans feel they have a lot to lose by gambling on which swing might come about.

  140. "1.) Who needs experience to be president?" Not fair, Mr. Kristof! Mr. Trump is an experienced demagogue who is more than willing to provide the American people with the novel experience of living under despotic control!

  141. The GOP is clearly undergoing devolution. It has devolved from its obstructionist rant, "No, Nothing!" and its habit of "do nothing" to the point where it now strives to elect the "Know-Nothing" candidate, Donald Trump.

  142. Donald Trump is all you say, Mr. Kristof, and quite probably a whole lot more. It is we who have made him our near-President, notwithstanding all we know.

    Yes, we can attribute this phenomenon to a stagnant economy (which it is not, actually), and to economic dislocation (which, sadly, is painfully real), but these conditions hardly explain the vile ad-hominem hatred emerging from Trump's rallies and acolytes.

    Next Tuesday, our national mirror will reflect who we really are: an ephemeral population subset of racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, mendacious reptilians or the critical mass of a whole nation determined to destroy itself.


  143. 3.) Trump might become the most entertaining president in history.

    I envision President Trump hosting "Celebrity Apprentice" in the Rose Garden and refereeing caged-combat matches in the Oval Office!

  144. "2.) We’ve accepted that leaders need not be saints, so why not embrace a paragon of fraud?"

    Just think of all the tax-payer money he will save by stiffing government contractors!

  145. "4.) Diversity is important, and Trump is inclusive — of extremists." His cabinet alone will be a model of inclusiveness. There'll be psychopaths, sociopaths, schizophrenics, narcissists, megalomaniacs--you name the aberration and Donald will find an aberrant individual to match it. He'll be expert at doing so, since it takes one to know one!

  146. A desperate plea for the American people to return to reality.
    When facts and reason don't persuade. When "truthiness" becomes an accepted norm. And previously accepted norms are discarded every day, Sarcasm is the only weapon left to use.
    I wish every American would read this piece.
    Especially those traditional GOP voters who, for good reason reason, rejected Trump in the GOP primaries and are now coming around to voting for him.
    And consider.

  147. I’ve heard Trump voters accept that he may be crazy dangerous, but they say that he’ll only be one-third of the government and he can be impeached. Unfortunately, his third of the government would control 100% of the guns.

  148. Not if the Congress grows a spine and retakes its responsibility to declare war away from the increasingly imperial presidency.

  149. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm suffering from such Trump fatigue that I don't know if I could take him for another four years. Like any reality TV star, his show has just gone on too long. I want to move on. I try to avoid him--his voice, his hair, his pouty lips, his jabbing fingers. He's too noisy. He takes up too much space, and he fills it with nothing. But, he's everywhere. It's been too much for too long. I don't even care about the election anymore. I don't care if he'd be a bad or good president. I just hope he loses so he'll get off my television, stop screaming at me and leave me alone.

  150. So what u are not tired of I guess, is Clinton corruption. Incredible.

  151. Well said!
    Trump/Pence makes no Cents/Sense!!!

  152. Ditto for smug, screeching Hillary.

  153. "5.) Donald Trump understands that our modern brains hold us back." Actually, Mr. Kristof, after experiencing megalomaniacal highs when his rally supporters whip themselves up to a frenzy of Trump adulation, Mr. Trump has decided that the utterly brainless are the most admirable among us. The autonomic nervous system is quite enough to assure that, with Trump in charge, America will be made compliantly great again.

  154. “Between culture and the individual the relationship is, and always has been, strangely ambivalent. We are at once the beneficiaries of our culture and its victims. Without culture, and without that precondition of all culture, language, man would be no more than another species of baboon. It is to language and culture that we owe our humanity….Working on the twelve or thirteen billion neurons of a human brain, language and culture have given us law, science, ethics, philosophy; have made possible all the achievements of talent and of sanctity. They have also given us fanaticism, superstition and dogmatic bumptiousness; nationalistic idolatry and mass murder in the name of God; rabble-rousing propaganda and organized lying….Thanks to language and culture, human behavior can be incomparably more intelligent, more original, creative and flexible than the behavior of animals, whose brains are too small to accommodate the number of neurons necessary for the invention of language and the transmission of accumulated knowledge. But, thanks again to language and culture, human beings often behave with a stupidity, a lack of realism, a total inappropriateness, of which animals are incapable.”
    -----Aldous Huxley; Culture and the Individual (1963)

  155. The reason language and culture don't solve the problem is because of the lizard brain. It still controls us too much, enough so that language and culture can easily be used to rationalize away our base instincts. Our human brain gives us the capacity to reach beyond instinct, but it is not evolved enough, not integrated enough, so that always reacting with more than instinct is still too much work than the vast majority of us are willing or able to do.

  156. I’ve my doubts about Obamacare and feared it might come apart. But I've never doubted that it is aimed at a problem that needs fixing.

    Millions of Americans who are employed, have health insurance and have no direct experience with this program and probably never will are now happily cheering on the difficulties the program is experiencing because they dislike the people the program is helping.

    The man whose example they are following is Donald Trump.

  157. Game 7 of the World Series was emblematic of this election. A tired group of participants and followers, rainsoaked, cold, and exhausted.

    Let this election be over. At least the Cubs, with the exception of the fine citizens of Cleveland, give us hope that nothing is impossible, including a Trump defeat.

    Please America, make it so!

    Captain Hey Joe

  158. Yes!! One of the best analogies I have heard on this election.

  159. And Trump will make learning Russian mandatory as he inserts Russian liaison officers (commissars) into all levels of American government. After all, he wouldn't want to upset Putin.

  160. Trump wouldn't be that bad. As long as Russia steered clear of directly attacking obvious American requirements (i.e. obstructed us only when it was subtle enough for the types that make up Trump's base to miss that we are being messed with), Putin would be able to do pretty much whatever he wants...at least as long as Trump wants his huge loans not to be called in, or Putin keeps "saying nice things" about Trump.

  161. Trump hasn't lost yet. Just a reminder.

  162. I'm fearful alright! actually, I'm scared stiff!

  163. Actually, the Know-Nothings were called the American Party, and the name "know nothing' was a result of their secretive nature. Members were to say they "know nothing" if asked if they were party members.

  164. Extrapolating backwards based on the policies that party favored, they were as likely as Trump's core base to actually know nothing.

  165. An excellent analysis of Trump , very succinctly dissected his personality and his background. He manifests all these traits you outlined in your article. Now it is our civil responsibility to choose a candidate who is devoid of all these traits and I think a candidate is available who we can trust and who is experienced and well read, familiar with all kinds of governmental operations.


  166. I’ve my doubts about Obamacare and feared it might come apart. But I never doubted that it was aimed at a problem that needs fixing.

    Millions of Americans who are employed, have health insurance and have no direct experience with this program and probably never will are now happily cheering on the difficulties the program is experiencing because they dislike the people the program is helping.

    The man whose example they are following is Donald Trump.

  167. Make that:

    "I've had my doubts about Obamacare...."

  168. Alas, Mr. Kristof, I think on the whole Homo sapiens throughout our existence have veered closer to "fearful, instinctive" reptilian than "reasoned, nuanced" behavior. Reasoned, nuanced behavior becomes rare during periods of socio-economic turbulence; it is fearful, instinctive behavior that fuels radicalization and points the way toward some of the most barbaric acts in history.

    What has become clear in this election campaign is the crumbling of American exceptionalism: that we Americans are not so exceptional as to be immune from the fears and bigotry that have undermined many other democracies around the world.

    I pray that we as a country are not on the cusp of that tipping point; that somehow, reasonableness will survive this Election Day and the years to come...

  169. Remember, this " man" was a draft dodger that has little regard for women. Do all Veterans Groups back him,?

  170. Trump's "White Male America" hasn't gone well historically. Aren't these the holier-than-thou whose discrimination track record includes American Indians, Jews, Irish, Asians, blacks, women, latinos, and now gays. We're a better people than that, and electing this guy sets acceptance of all people back hundreds of years -- never mind civility.

  171. Thank you, Mr. Kristof. In the middle of this insanity (where so many Americans seem to have lost their minds and are full of pumped-up rage), we could use a little satirical levity!

  172. Vacuous nonsense. Two lines are especially guffaw-worthy. Mr. Kristof asks, "so why not embrace a paragon of fraud?" I must admit to some confusion here; I thought we were ridiculing the Republican candidate, but now we're talking about crime boss Hillary? The hilarious Mr. Kristof then offers up this gem: "Time to shake things up with a sexual predator!" But sir, Mrs. Clinton already had one of those in the White House, don't you remember? His name was Bill, and Hillary, that model of virtue and advocate for women, did her best to smear his victims.

  173. HRC hasn't been indicted much less convicted of a crime, while DJT, his father, and his company lost (settled) a federal anti-discrimination case. Those are public records not innuendo.

  174. I just cannot believe that the voting public can't see through the clown show. Are we as a nation that angry at the government to risk such a disaster? I'm more ashamed of our voting public then anything. We stand to lose so much and gain nothing.......

  175. Here, here!

  176. Thank you for this. It is truly frightening that this "thing" is so close to being our next president. I don't like Hillary either but I want my son to have a world to grow up in. Hillary won't kill us.

  177. Really? You do realise that she and obama are pushing war with Russia? The defcon level had to be increased last week. Russia has nuclear weapons . Hillary Clinton is a war monger. Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria. Perhaps you should do a little research as the new York times isn't interested. Gorbachev said that the Russia and the United states have never been closers to nuclear war.

  178. Well said!

  179. You left out one important possibility even if he wins or loses: the rise of the 'TRUMP' action comic. The plot lines would be hilarious.

  180. My only Positive Reason for the POT...Presence Of Trump...is that he has
    Chronically brought to the Surface...How Bad We Are...Under the Surface.
    I repeat...Never have I seen the domination of a Public presentation of
    Pathology in the a Psychopathic Personality having Fun at the expense of
    The People. At the least, we can be Served by Clinton. Right now we are
    At the Service of Trump's Ego.

  181. I used to think we Brazilians vote incorrectly and accept even a conspirator as president because we are sub educated in all areas, but considering the fact that DJT is getting this huge support in an presidential election, in USA, I´ll rethink my concepts.

  182. I would share this on my Facebook page if the headline were not sure to be misinterpreted by any of my Trump supporting acquaintances who've not yet blocked me. For certain, few of them would be familiar with Nicholas Kristof and so, would go out amid their cohorts and say that their friend Debra ____ sent them an article from a NY Times columnist named Kristof who said Trump's his guy. Great column and much, much more needs to be said about our amygdalae and how it governs us individually and collectively.

  183. Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I had a nightmare that Trump won the presidency. I have never dreamed about politics or the elections in my entire life.

    Is this my reptilian brain ? Surely not.

  184. There is a third primal instinct to danger. It's "FREEZE."
    In this election that would be the person who responds to this feeling of danger by being a non-voter.

  185. Nice use of sarcasm Mr. Kristof. To be sure, with this readership you are preaching to the choir. Maybe Trump's supporters will find you funny and still vote for him. But if you reach 10 percent it would have been a good effort.

  186. Funny, if it weren't true. We are living a very sad state of affairs championed by a thoughtless and thuggish troglodyte, driven by a lust of abusive power, to satisfy his insatiable appetite for recognition and applause. He has done already irreparable damage by giving permission to his surrogates to voice their basest prejudices as if it were 'normal' discourse...when seen/heard from a white supremacist viewpoint. Trump is a supreme narcissist immune to criticism, a vulgar bully ready and willing to lie whenever he opens his mouth, and deceive his misinformed and prejudiced audience in toeing his nasty line. His unscrupulousness has reached heretofore unknown heights (depths?) of insolence and impertinence. Most unfortunate, his family is fully enmeshed in his fraudster intrigue and assault of the last bastion left, decency and trust of people in each other to try to do what's right. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to find rabid contrarians supporting Trump... applauding the five reasons you cite to lend him a hand. Reason and common sense seem AWOL in this 'brave new world' of ours.

  187. she’ll give earnest, wonkish speeches about the benefits of increasing the child tax credit or raising the minimum wage ...

    when was Clinton really in favor of raising the minimal wage? Have I been missing something in the last twenty years? Her "support" of the (tiered) $15 minimum wage in New York has been at best lukewarm and totally politically motivated. Recall that she did not attend the bill signing - but she did not miss the photo-op with Governor Cuomo.


  188. Perfect! I think I like Pinker's statements about our "reptilian brain" and how candidate Trump both activates and channels them so that we react to circumstances in go for the primal reaction. This reaction from the primitive brain ignores all that societies have tried to instill in us for centuries: there's been too much lost to ignore the best in us and go for the worst. Justice in society didn't just happen and doesn't keep going because the words are lofty: We must go high, not low.

  189. I get it that this is tongue in cheek, but why keep writing about Trump at all? People who will be voting for him have already made up their minds, they've heard all the scandals (or not) and are fine with voting for him anyway. The NYT opinion pages are still full of reasons why he's a terrible choice, as if people were still trying to make up their minds. I doubt there are many undecided voters left out there at this point. What we need now is make sure that people who could vote for the only rational choice get off the couch and actually vote. Let's talk about the importance of voting for people who read this newspaper (mostly liberals) and who may still be thinking that maybe we're doomed anyway and it's not worth the effort. Let's talk about why it makes sense to get out and VOTE.

  190. The reason to vote for Hillary - Watch the most corrupt candidate in American history give excuses for all her lies and corrupt schemes. Watch as America debates the need for a special prosecutor to investigate and prosecute Hillary, even before she takes the oath of office. Watch as America spends four years debating how Hillary sold her office as Secretary of State to donors to the Clinton Foundation. Watch as America finds out how many times Hillary's emails were hacked by foreign governments.

    We've accepted how our Presidents can be congenital liars and how Presidents can sell their soul for a few dollars. So vote Hillary and get the ultimate in congenital liars and corruption

  191. Do you actually have any evidence for these allegations of corruption? I have yet to see any. The emails scandal is not about corruption, it's about improper handling of government secrets - which is a scandal, but does not touch on corruption.
    With Trump we actually know that he ripped off people with Trump University and stiffed contractors etc. With Hilary I have yet to see any facts.
    Most corrupt president in history is also hyperbole in any case, there are a bunch that were truly corrupt (especially in the 19th and early 20th century)

  192. As a Canadian I tend to just skim a lot of the headlines and this article's headline told me a New York Times article is suggesting "vote Trump". You need to make sure if your article is anti Trump then use a headline that reflects that - otherwise it's just an ad for Trump. I'm sure that there are other people including Americans who just skim headlines as well. This election is too important to the rest of the world as well to give free publicity to Trump. By the way many times in other publications I have also found that the headlines are misleading - many times in trying to be sarcastic etc., but unless you read the article then you don't get it and its a plug for Trump.

  193. When Congressman Weiner was found to be sexting he was asked to leave the Democratic Party and resigned, but Republican leaders endorsed Mr. Trump for president no matter what he has personally said or done or visually gestured. What’s really silly is politicians are cursed if they do and cursed if they don’t, and many take the low road anyway.

  194. You forgot to memtion the Constitution does not spwcifically say that cansidates be required to posess actual human DNA. So, I guess, in that sense Trump is qualified.

  195. Maybe Trump started running just so he could hold off the IRS and claim the audit is political punishment -- especially if the agency finds that he did (very likely) commit criminal tax fraud. I suspect he never really thought he'd get this far. God forbid that he is elected. I really thought that the vast majority of my fellow citizens were saner and smarter than to vote for someone like the demagogue Trump.

  196. Nicholas's nuanced analytic skills stop when he comedically analyzes Mr Trump. Did he do the same thing to Sen Sanders? I think so. Yes, Trump's shoddy record and campaign behavior shows his lack of most all skills to be potus, in contrast with Clinton, in whom Nick finds nothing lacking worth mentioning. So much for nuance, a second time [regarding the most distrusted candidate ever, in many eyes, to wit, stonewalling Sanders regarding her Wall St speeches and the DWSchultz corruption resignation and immediate Hillary rehire.] And, as a media expert himself, this is troubling in a way that verifies right before our eyes what both Trump and Sanders claimed: the Fourth Estate takes sides in their very reportage, via lack of nuance, at the very least. As Trump said, "Bernie never had a chance." I voted early for Clinton. But, before I did, I listened to Trump's complete speeches that were mostly far-more nuanced than the liberal press snippets-out-of-context reveal. For example Trumpie said, "Let's have a big door for legal immigrants to enter the US" and prevent illegal immigration whereby drug dealers from Mexico are somehow [bribery? poor border control?] able to poison and kill 1000s of us each year after year after year with TONS and TONS of dope. Makes you want to drop nunace and vote in Trump in hopes he will end those poisonous deaths.

  197. There's a WORLD out there, Sir - not just us and Mexico. Would you give a baby a knife in hopes that he'd peel an apple ? Please, some perspective! BTW: "When you're a star, they LET you!" Really - what more do you need to hear?

  198. I think everyone's missing the real story here. For all Trump's bombast, he's trying to sell us the same GOP line they've been pitching since Reagan, maybe even before that: trickle down economics; tax cuts, especially for the wealthy; no social safety net or infrastructure; huge increases in the military and cuts to everything else; endless war and huge deficits (except the latter won't matter); no abortions or gays; christian prayers and symbols everywhere. When/if he's elected, those on the right who express faux outrage over Trump's rhetorical excesses will fall in line like sheep. Trump will realize he has to govern and bring in to his administration the same GOPers who have been ruining the country since Richard Nixon. That's reason enough not to vote for him. Stop the 50-year period of US insanity.

  199. 2. Whoever wins, we will be embracing 'a paragon of fraud', let's not kid ourselves.

  200. Up here in the great white north we are watching with trepidation but not without a sense of humour. A sign outside a
    Toronto restaurant read: special of the day: Trump burger: 90% white bun, Russian dressing, small pickle. Suitable for those who don't care about their future.

  201. I thought the #1 reason was going to be "You hate women and want to harass them without fear of consequences."

  202. Who woulda thunk! It's the lizards, not the apes that will be taking over the planet.

    That's OK with the GOP. The important thing for them is that it's not humans. Any animal will do.

  203. 1. Who needs to learn from experience to be president? HRC shows an unerring ability to keep touching the hot stove and has been on the wrong side of every foreign policy decision for 30 yrs.
    Let’s hear it for consistency! At least we will have predictable results.

    2. We’ve accepted that leaders need not be saints, so why not embrace a paragon of fraud? With the Clinton policy of "We get ours first... second and third maybe the US will benefit from the Clinton scraps if she can operate on a world level.

    3. HRC as president will be like taking Law and Order to Reality TV! She might become the most entertaining president in history... since her husband anyway. Maybe we can even introduce a new Academy Award for working with HRC... in the shape of a heavy table lamp (a'la George Stephanopoulos for you history buffs).

    4. Diversity is important, and HRC is inclusive — of left wing extremists and anarchists. HRC speaks up for oppressed groups — like Occupy Wallstreet, Black Lives Matter and Islamo-fascists. HRC doesn't just walk the walk... she talks the talk! Slipping into regional dialects faster than you can pull a bottle of hot sauce out of a purse... she will truly be the inclusivity President (as long as you are not the working middle class).

    5. Hillary understands that we all need an excuse and a warm, smothering safety blanket. Why do for yourself what your Government can do for you? That could be the rallying cry of the HRC Presidency!

  204. Well said pc, well said.
    The difference between HRC & Trump? Hillary believes SHE knows what's best for you. Donald thinks YOU know what's best for you.

  205. One reason for voting for Donald Trump will do Mr. Kristof. We do not like Hillary Clinton, we do not trust her and she has fhat shrill voice that is so annoying. She is a cheat and a fraud and is only looking out for Hilllary. She does not have America's best interests at heart but only her own. She is power hungry and will achieve this any way possible. Oops, I think I mentioned more than one but you get the picture. We detest Mrs. Clinton and all that she stands for. Donald Trump is not Hillary Clinton and that is fine with us.

  206. Shrill, power hungry, a cheat and a fraud. . . sounds like Donald Trump.

  207. Sadly, you describe Trump and the effectiveness of his spin machine. You really think he has your interests in mind? That is his biggest crime of all -- convincing people like you that he cares about anyone but himself, and maybe his family whom his ego needs most to dote and adore him like a King with his court.

  208. Who is us, you and your cat?

  209. Hey Nick. Usually, you're very serious. This time quite funny. Not with jokes, satire. Yup. That reptilian brain (which Stephen Colbert referred to as 'gut') just deals with basic instincts. But we're better than that, aren't we? And oh yes, diversity. How could we be diverse without 'hate groups'. Entertaining? Nope. Seen enough of his apricot face. Should be canceled. Can you imagine Trump meeting with foreign leaders? Ms. Merkel, watch your backside! Experience? He doesn't have any. 5 days and counting. Are we gonna be instinctive or reasoning? We DO have a choice. And it's quite obvious, isn't it?

  210. Reason No. 6: Americans aspire to live in a dysphoric society comparable to Cold War East Germany.

  211. Nick, you had me worried.

  212. Neither party has ever nominated a person less qualified to be President than the Donald.

    We could argue that Ronald Reagan was in that class, but at least he'd had a modicum of politcal experience as a Governor.

    What does this say about the present state of the country and what are the future implications if any?

    The press likes to weigh in on how "deeply divided" the country is. They're right about that, but they're wrong to imply it is only ideological. As an aside, history will show that the steady drumbeat of right wing Faux News and talk radio have had an enormous impact on the world views of a huge percentage of the population. But I digress.

    Nothing that happens in the United States is very far removed from the mind boggling, gobsmacking upward redistribution of wealth that has occurned over the last two generations. It colors our culture, our politics, and most certainly the daily lives of those not lucky enough to have climbed the economic ladder courtesy of their education.

    Trump merely gives voice to the millions who have had their pockets picked by the .1%. They're angry, disillusioned, and armed. It's a dangerous and unprecedented combination.

    If Clinton is elected she would do well to immediately address the upward redistribution of wealth issue. How? God only knows.

    If she doesn't, a much more slick neo-fascist candidate is likely to emerge. Next time wearing a more obviously brown shirt.

    If that happens God help us all!

  213. Hillary Clinton will champion the creation of manufacturing jobs and much needed rebuilding of the Nation. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our mass transportation system is becoming dangerous, the Middle-Class which bridges the gap between poverty and wealth, has taken a pounding. Education matters more than ever, and we cannot subsist on jokes about Trump's hair. Our eyes are now open to how minorities are taking a plunge. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done.

    Could the New York Times give us on the front-cover a clear recap of the agenda and proposals of the two presidential nominees before Trump takes back America and makes it 'Great Again'?

    What would happen to our journalists at the NYT if Trump is the President? Would Gail Collins and David Brooks, for example, take a sabbatical? Some of us remain confused as to what a Trump Presidency would mean.