It could happen.

It could happen.

In his 2009 book The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counterrevolution 1980-1989, right-wing author Steven Hayward describes the aftermath of President Carter’s defeat on November 4, 1980:

By Thursday the magnitude of the election was starting to course through the news cycle. “The election was a shocker,” Washington Post columnist David Broder wrote in a front-page article with the banner headline “A Sharp Right Turn.” “The conservative victory could hardly be more complete.” For establishment Washington it was as if a barbarian horde had sacked the city…Democratic Senator Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts summed up the election’s meaning in one sentence: “Basically, the New Deal died yesterday.”

Reagan’s election was a body blow from which the United States has yet to recover. Twenty years later, Bush’s selection by the United States Supreme Court broke the country’s jaw. Now, if Donald Trump wins on November 8, this fighter we call America will be carried out of the ring on a stretcher, barely conscious, covered in welts and bruises, having lost its championship glory.

When you go out on the street tomorrow, take a look at the people walking around you, and think about how those people will be in severe jeopardy if Trump wins.

Think about the beautiful young Muslim lady heading to work, and how a President Trump would treat her as nothing more than a terrorist-in-training. (You just know Trump assumed, without any evidence at all, that a Muslim must have been responsible for the explosion in New York City last night.)

Think about the worried young Mexican man in line for breakfast. He may be undocumented, but he’s unwavering in his love for this land of opportunity, and is scared to death that in a Trump administration, heavily armed federal agents will harm him–or worse–as they chase him out of this country (undocumented Irish immigrants will probably be left alone, of course).

Think about the nervous young woman on the train, who just learned that she is pregnant. Will she be able to bring an end to this unwanted and unplanned pregnancy before reproductive rights are further restricted by federal judges who think like Trump and Mike Pence?

Think about the young climate activist heading to a rally to express support for the Native American water protectors in North Dakota. His efforts to protect our precious planet will all be in vain if a President Trump undoes President Obama’s courageous efforts to combat carbon pollution. Climate scientists often talk of a tipping point when it becomes impossible to avoid the worst impacts of human-caused climate change; as my colleague David Atkins observed last month, Trump’s energy policies, if fully implemented, could make it impossible to prevent Earth from being bedeviled by more extreme weather events and ever-rising sea levels.

Think about the mothers and fathers taking their children to kindergarten. How will they be able to teach their kids that hate is wrong if the country elects a man who thinks hate makes one strong? As President, Trump could send a message to our impressionable youth that racism is righteous, that contempt for citizens of color is copacetic.

Think about the young black college student walking down the street, wearing a hooded sweatshirt with his school’s logo. He’s scared that some cop will assume that he’s a thug. He’s scared that some cop will assume that a person with his complexion couldn’t possibly be a student at an elite school. He’s scared that some cop will shoot him for no good reason–and that if Trump is President, the Justice Department will pay no attention to such slaughter.

Then, think about yourself, your children, your friends. Do you really want to live in a country where Donald freakin’ Trump is the Commander-in-Chief?

It could happen.

It could happen.

Future generations will call it a crime and a sin.

What will you call it…if Trump wins?

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D.R. Tucker

D. R. Tucker is a Massachusetts-based journalist who has served as the weekend contributor for the Washington Monthly since May 2014. He has also written for the Huffington Post, the Washington Spectator, the Metrowest Daily News, investigative journalist Brad Friedman's Brad Blog and environmental journalist Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks.