Let’s stipulate a couple of things. First of all, it has been pretty well established that the Republicans have long been laying the groundwork that led to a Donald Trump candidacy. Secondly, even more of a concern the man himself is the fact that so many people are lining up to support Trump in this presidential race.

With that in mind, it is still not a foregone conclusion that Trump will be the Republican nominee and much less likely that, if he is, he will be elected president this November. And yet I agree completely with Leonard Pitts, this thing won’t end there.

Assuming his rebuke in November, the natural tendency will be to mop the brow and sigh in relief at the bullet we just dodged.

This would be a mistake. Defeating Trump would not erase the forces that made him possible. As the last few years have shown, those forces, like some virulent cancer, tend to redouble after a setback and return stronger than before.

You thought George W. Bush was a piece of work? Meet Sarah Palin. You think Sarah Palin was scary? Meet Trump.

With that, Pitts provides a list of the five things we must do to end that trajectory.

1. Confront economic insecurity.
2. Confront ignorance.
3. Confront bigotry.
4. Confront fear.
5. Confront apathy.

That’s an excellent list. Of course, it’s easier said than done. While the alternative is less of a challenge, it leads to obvious disaster. We’ve faced tougher challenges as a country in the past. The only thing that will keep us from taking on the current one is a failure to recognize the importance of #5.

Nancy LeTourneau

Follow Nancy on Twitter @Smartypants60.