His support is not like that of a democratic leader but of a cult leader fused with the idea of the nation. If he fails, as he will, he will blame others, as he always does. And his cult followers will take their cue from him and no one else. “In Trump We Trust,” as his acolyte Ann Coulter titled her new book. And so there will have to be scapegoats — media institutions, the Fed, the “global conspiracy” of bankers and Davos muckety-mucks he previewed in his rankly anti-Semitic closing ad, rival politicians whom he will demolish by new names of abuse, foreign countries and leaders who do not cooperate, and doubtless civilians who will be targeted by his ranks of followers and demonized from the bully pulpit itself. The man has no impulse control and massive reserves of vengeance and hatred. In time, as his failures mount, the campaigns of vilification will therefore intensify. They will have to.

And then there will be a terror attack — or several, as he defines the global battle against terror as one against an entire religion and breathes new life into Al Qaeda and ISIS. What he does after such an attack is utterly predictable, given his past statements, and will likely decimate what civil liberties we have left. Then there will be a clash between police and largely black protestors after another unarmed black man is shot. And he will relish a show of massive police force that will inflame this country in ways probably not seen since the 1960s. Then he will reinstate Guantánamo and capture prisoners and torture them until the truth he wants is extracted. That truth will be used to further advance the “war against Islam.” He will make every Muslim American feel afraid — and foment suspicion and hatred among their neighbors. Every single thing we have come to know about this man all but predicts each of these things will come about. All of them portend the end of the America that the world has long known and now must fear.