The populist tradition is as old as the country itself. And I’m sympathetic to the sentiment that everyday people have a better idea of how to run their lives than political, intellectual, cultural or business elites. But there comes a point at which populism ventures into conspiracism and the “country class” refuses to acknowledge political realities. Atop this unstable political real estate sits a Trump Tower.

The last time conservatives and Republican-leaning independents became enamored of an unfashionable, slightly weird, cartoonish businessman, Ross Perot took close to 20 percent of the popular vote and handed Bill Clinton the presidency. Which do conservatives value more: self-indulgence or the chance to repeal Obamacare, prevent a huge tax increase and overhaul the welfare state? I’m a little scared to know the answer. But I do know this: Trump must be stopped.