1. It’s Monday, August 1, 2016.

2. Uh oh. Summer is near the halfway point. And, yes, I’m the wistful, half-empty type – or, in this case, half-over.

3. As gloomy as I get about summer speeding by, there are good reasons to fast forward to Nov. 9. That’s when, hopefully, this miserable election will be over and Trump will be sent sulking to his gold-plated lair on Fifth Avenue.

Or, I could go back to pessimist mode and hope Nov. 9 never gets here if there’s any chance in the world that this, as described by conservative foreign policy adviser Max Boot in the Times, “unapologetic ignoramus wins the presidency.” 

4. Sure, there’s a certain pleasure in watching conservatives wring their hands about Trump as he embarrasses the Republican Party.

But real liberals value patriotism over partisanship. We want to find a way for the remaining sane Republicans to help stop Trump.

As of now, only a few Republicans of prominence have endorsed Hillary Clinton. These are mostly the foreign policy professionals such as former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

The question is whether any of the prominent Republicans who have refused to endorse Trump would actually say out loud they’ll vote for a Democrat they’ve vilified for more than two decades.

I don’t think Mitt Romney will. He’ll support Libertarian Gary Johnson before Clinton.

And I don’t John Kasich will. To paraphrase an old song, he wants to be around to pick up the pieces when Trump breaks Republicans’ hearts by losing. Although the fact that the governor of Ohio, one of the most important states in this election, can’t bring himself to back the GOP candidate in a close race might be helpful enough to Clinton.

Will any member of the Bush family, for more than 20 years the first family of the party, endorse a Democrat for president? A sentence that would have made no sense a year ago now can’t be completely dismissed.

I think there are others. Moderate governors such as Hogan in Maryland and Baker in Massachusetts might do it. Maybe Susana Martinez in New Mexico.

So how do Democrats get sensible Republicans to come around?

I think we just let our best recruiter do the job. That would be Trump himself.

Every time he opens his mouth. Every time he presses that blue Tweet button.

He’ll be the one to drive Republicans who haven’t lost their minds to do something they couldn’t have possibly imagined when this campaign began. They might shed a tear. But that will be the first step toward getting their party on a path toward humanity.

5. ISIS is doomed, its territory dwindling rapidly. But its best recruiter was still hard at work this weekend.

Nobody, but nobody, helps terrorists more than Trump.

He proved his worth to his ISIS masters this weekend with his sniping campaign against the Khan family, whose son was killed in Iraq a decade ago. Trump doubled down on his criticism of Khan, whose speech at the Democratic convention condemning Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has been the talk of the nation for four days. 

So far, Trump has implied that Khan’s wife, Ghazala, was muzzled for religious reasons because she didn’t speak when her husband did at the convention. He implied that Khan has no right to criticize him, and challenged Khan’s statement that he has not sacrificed for the country, citing his building prowess.

The latest from the Trump team has been an attempt to slur the Khan’s son by insinuating that he had ties to terrorists.

Prominent Republicans have joined with Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine in condemning the Trump reaction. Sen. John McCain, who has been insulted by Trump himself, issued a strongly worded statement this morning. Although, for some strange reason, McCain refuses to withdraw his endorsement of a man who seems less bothered by Trump’s comments about him than just about every Democrat.

Trump gave ISIS an opportunity to insult the Khans with a statement calling their son an “apostate” for helping protect his men when the car bomb that killed him exploded, according to The Daily Beast and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. 

All Trump’s anti-Islamic rhetoric does is drive the confused into the camp of evil. If you’re a troubled teen whose faith is being demonized, and you see how honorable people are being treated by a presidential candidate, that seems more conducive to going to Syria to fight for ISIS than going downtown to an Armed Forces recruiting station.

I wonder if ISIS will give Trump a plaque as Recruiter of the Month. It would go with the others he’s earned in a year of campaigning.


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