Eight years ago, McCain was stoic and self-deprecating in defeat — one of the few fringe benefits of having endured the far greater trials of near-death in a Hanoi prison. But Salter thinks Trump, who infamously mocked McCain for getting “captured,” will melt like Fontina in a fondue pot in the glare of general election when he realizes he can’t beat Clinton.

“He’s going to lose, and I think he’s got kind of an unstable personality to begin with,” Salter told me last week, a couple of days after sparking a minifrenzy by tweeting that his loathing for Trump had metamorphosed into — gasp — support for Clinton. Hashtag: #Imwithher.

Salter, sitting in his writer’s warren/office in Old Town Alexandria, said he wouldn’t venture a guess on Trump’s mental state. Then he smiled and went right ahead. “I think he could come apart, you know, in some kind of visible way,” the 61-year-old Salter said. “I think that’s quite possible. … I’m not a psychiatrist, but there is something wrong with [the] guy.”