Sometimes it takes a foreigner who is fighting for democracy to remind Americans of how much we take our system for granted. Such a wake-up call is particularly useful when we have a president-elect who admires strongmen and displays indifference to democratic norms.
Donald Trump's threat to jail Hillary Clinton if he's elected just underlined why he so admires that "strong leader" Vladimir Putin. No pesky checks on executive power when you operate out of the Kremlin. Send your opponents to Siberia and no one says "boo."
Even Trump supporters are bemoaning the fact that the Donald refused to prep sufficiently for the first presidential debate. But his lapse was more than a display intellectual laziness. It goes to the heart of why a President Trump would endanger American security and why he must never become America's commander-in-chief.
It's time to focus laserlike attention on the meaning of a Donald Trump presidency for America's security. Until now, the presumption that Trump wouldn't win or doesn't really mean what he says has led to insufficient scrutiny of how his presidency would threaten our safety. Many security experts - including leading Republicans - have raised concerns, but their protests haven't risen to the level of the danger.
Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 2016 and 2001, and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.