I wrote this article Monday about how the Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPence: Supreme Court has chance to right 'historic wrong' with abortion ruling Prosecutor says during trial that actor Jussie Smollett staged 'fake hate crime' Overnight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table MORE campaign is in total meltdown. I started with examples to prove the point. However, in the last two days, several more examples have come to light that are worth mentioning and reposting my column because it underscores my original argument that Trump's campaign is in disarray and that the candidate is a disturbed individual with no self-control. But regardless, Democrats cannot take anything for granted.
Let's review the most recent transgressions:
- Trump's offensive comments to the Purple Heart vet who generously gave him hard-earned medal: Trump said "I've always wanted one of these and this is an easier way to get one."
- Trump kicking out a mother and her baby from his event simply because the baby was crying.
- Trump saying he cannot yet support Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanNo time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' MORE (R-Wis.) and Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (R-Ariz.) for reelection, even though they have endorsed him. He was upset that they criticized him for insulting the Khans, a Gold Star family. (More on that below).
- The meltdown started last week with Trump inviting the Russians to hack into Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE's computer system to find "the missing emails." A U.S. presidential candidate urged a hostile foreign power to execute a cyberattack on this country.
- On the night of Clinton's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention — as she was uttering the words "A man who can be baited with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons" — Trump was proving her right as he blasted a series of insulting tweets at her and other Democratic convention speakers.
- This was followed by Trump saying he wanted to hit the Democratic convention speakers, and a "little one" in particular so hard it would make his head spin (he was talking about former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who blasted Trump's business acumen and called him a con man).
- Trump then engaged in an unprecedented and jaw-dropping assault on the Khan family, who lost a son in the Iraq war, and who had taken Trump on at the Democratic convention for not understanding the U.S. Constitution.
- At recent rallies, Trump has blasted fire marshals for turning people away at his events, accusing them of being Democrats and playing politics.
- In an interview, he stated in no uncertain terms that if he's elected, Russian President Vladimir Putin would not go into Ukraine. But as interviewer George Stephanopoulos pointed out, Putin and the Russians have been there since 2014.
- After stating earlier in the campaign that he knew Putin well, he now says he has never met him.
But see, here is the crux of all of this. Trump, in the eyes of many Americans (hopefully the majority, as polls are starting to show), has disqualified himself from the highest office in the land.
His more than yearlong string of statements — one more outrageous than the last, culminating in the latest barrage of cray-cray — have contributed to two things.
The first is to lower the bar of expectations for him — so low, in fact, that if he gets through a speech reading mostly from the teleprompter without insulting anybody outright, he suddenly looks presidential. (If Clinton does not give the "Gettysburg Address," it is an epic fail.)
The second is the possibility of complacency from Democrats and decent, right-thinking Americans who may believe in their hearts that someone so vile, so inept, who practices diarrhea of the mouth on a daily basis and has denigrated every demographic known to political scientists, cannot in anyone's right mind win the presidency.
The low bar of expectations and complacency are exactly how he wins.
They really are the Orwellian campaign: The Trump campaign denies its own Ukraine policy https://t.co/ktsmolhY81— Maria Cardona (@MariaTCardona) August 1, 2016
We are now seeing a post-convention bounce for Clinton, putting her on average 6 to 9 percentage points ahead of Trump in most national polls. Democrats are no doubt exhaling with relief. But we cannot let our guard down. Clinton needs to run scared, and get up every morning pretending she is 10 points behind, with her back against the wall.
Especially now that it seems the Trump campaign and the candidate himself are becoming unhinged, undone and flying off the rails, we must more than ever insist on discipline to participate in this election. Register and get to the polls and ensure your family and friends do so as well. It is too important to the future of this country.
The Trump phenomenon has become more than what was dubbed a "brilliant political strategy" during the Republican primary season of casting aside the old political playbook. Trump is doing much more than just shunning political correctness: He is showing us his political psychosis.
Unending tweet barrages, lusting for violence against Democratic speakers, denouncing fire marshals, attacking sacred Gold Star families who have given the ultimate in sacrifice for this great country, calling on America's adversaries to launch cyberattacks against us, lying and flip-flopping multiple times in a single rant. That is no brilliant political strategy.
Trump simply cannot help himself if his ego and macho brand are questioned. This is a pathology of personality. It is a darkness of the mind and spirit. As Khizr Kahn so eloquently stated recently, Trump demonstrates a lack of empathy that should concern us all. He also shows a lack of humanity and the absence of normalcy and sanity.
He is a danger to this country.
Trump, in his own words and deeds, has demonstrated better than anyone ever could just how temperamentally unfit, vastly unprepared and wholly unqualified he is to be our commander in chief.
But there are still millions of Americans who will vote for him. Millions believe he will be their savior and nothing he says or does, no matter how outrageous, abhorrent, dreadful, un-American or even criminal, will change their minds.
As such, Americans who believe this man cannot get anywhere close to the White House must understand this race will not be a cakewalk. Yes, Clinton is among the most qualified presidential candidates ever to run in the United States, but she also suffers from a frustrating and sticky un-likability factor — some of it self-inflicted, but much of it is the consequence of more than three decades of right-wing character attacks.
This is why the Clinton campaign must hit back hard, but also focus on her positive message of Stronger Together, uplifting the country to find solutions to Americans' anguish and fear. Clinton will fight and destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), continue to bring back good-paying jobs, fight for our families and children, and work hard to harness Americans' love and kindness.
Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.
This piece was updated on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 5:44 p.m. to reflect events in the presidential campaign.
The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.