In the debut episode of his new series, "The Closer," GQ's Keith Olbermann tallies the most outrageous of Donald Trump's offenses in what is now his 15-month assault on American democracy.
Every few generations, we Americans are called upon to defend our country. To defend it not so much from foreign dictators or war or terrorism, but from those here who have no commitment to progress or democracy or representative government—no commitment to anything except their own out-of-control minds and the bottomless pits of their egos.
Our society has thrown up these people before: Joseph McCarthy. George Wallace. Father Coughlin. Jefferson Davis. Aaron Burr. The Know-Nothings. The Blacklisters. The America-Firsters. And we have always thrown them out.
And now our generation has its own: the most dangerous individual ever nominated by a major party for the highest office in this country.
His base wants few details and fewer facts; they just want to burn it down and blame their failures on the collective other. And Donald John Trump is their demonic messiah in Oompa Loompa's clothing.
We must stop him.
It is not pleasant.
It is not fair that we have to do this.
But it is our turn.
The Emperor's New Clothes quality to the Trump campaign has survived these 15 months because, as we react to each outrage, our shock and revulsion have been refracted like light through a prism.
But these outrages are not separate events, not even a pattern.
They are, simply, Donald Trump.
Seen all at once, they—and he—are horrifying.
You must see them "all at once."
Thus—in brief—the story so far:
The Republican party has actually nominated for president a man who attacked the Pope.
Who attacked John McCain for being captured by the North Vietnamese.
Who attacked Hillary Clinton as a "bigot." Who attacked her as "brainwashed." As "unhinged." As "a monster." As "the devil." As "the most corrupt candidate ever"—showing her face on piles of hundred-dollar bills and the Star of David.
Who attacked her as someone whom "Second Amendment people" should do something about. As someone whose religion "we don't know anything about"—after he explained he had never asked God for forgiveness.
Who attacked President Obama and implied he was a traitor. Who attacked him as having been complicit in the Orlando terrorist attack. Who attacked him for having lower approval ratings than Vladimir Putin, as if Putin's could be trusted. Who attacked him as being born in another country. Who attacked him as the founder of ISIS, then said it was sarcasm, then said it wasn't sarcasm, then attacked him again as the founder of ISIS.
Who attacked Carly Fiorina for her face; Hillary Clinton for her non-presidential "look"; Heidi Cruz for her appearance; Megyn Kelly for having "blood coming out of her wherever"; Mika Brzezinski as "crazy and very dumb," "neurotic," "not very bright."
Who attacked the women who accused Roger Ailes of harassment.
Who attacked the women who choose abortion—and said there should be punishments.
Who attacked a New York Times reporter because he had a condition that made his arms look atypical; who attacked Judge Gonzalo Curiel because he was of Mexican descent; who attacked Senator Elizabeth Warren over allegedly lying about her heritage to get into Harvard when she never went to Harvard; who attacked Senator Jeff Flake by saying he won't be re-elected this year, when he isn't up for election until 2018.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who attacked U.S. troops in Iraq and claimed they stole millions; who has attacked Ted Cruz's father and claimed he was connected to the assassination of President Kennedy; attacked Bill Clinton and claimed he was a rapist.
Who attacked Mexicans as rapists, bringing drugs and crime; who attacked African-Americans and claimed they were all living in poverty with no jobs and schools that were no good; who attacked Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as a "war zone" and attacked the United States of America and claimed it is in a "death spiral."
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who lied about opposing the war in Iraq, when there is a tape of him supporting it. A tape recorded on the first anniversary of 9/11…
Who lied about opposing the war in Iraq during a speech in which he insisted, "I will never lie to you."
Who lied about six million dollars in charitable donations to veterans’ groups from his telethon; who lied about donating his profits from The Apprentice, about charitable donations from The Celebrity Apprentice, and from "Trump the Game" to St. Jude Cancer Center.
Who lied about a plan to debate Bernie Sanders for charity.
Who lied about why he wouldn't release his taxes, because he was being audited and proved himself a liar by saying he would release his taxes if Hillary Clinton released her e-mails; who lied about how much money his father gave him or helped him get, coming out of college; who lied about sending his private jet to ferry stranded U.S. servicemen; who lied about talking to the Attorney General of Florida, who declined to investigate Trump University after she was given a campaign donation; who lied about his business in Russia; who lied about meeting Russian president Putin; who lied about offering child care to his employees, when it was child care for his hotel guests; who lied about "some people" wanting a moment of silence for the murderer of five Dallas policemen; who lied about seeing thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11; who lied about 9/11 hijackers sending their wives and girlfriends home to Saudi Arabia.
Who lied about thousands of Syrian refugee terrorists being secretly admitted to this country; who lied about the Chicago police urging him to cancel a rally; who lied about the Chicago police saying they could solve crime there with "tough police tactics"; who lied about how there was no drought in California, how he never said Japan should have nuclear weapons, how he opposed the ouster of Egyptian president Mubarak, how the unemployment rate is 42 percent.
Who lied about ISIS making millions a week selling Libyan oil; who lied about dozens of secret terrorist cases in this country; who lied that a protester who tried to rush onto his stage had "ties to ISIS"; who lied last May and again last week about refugees entering this country carrying cell phones with "ISIS flags on them" and phone plans pre-paid by ISIS!
Can you hear me now?
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who congratulated himself in two tweets and a press release for predicting terrorist attacks like Orlando, while bodies still lay in the Pulse nightclub…
Who congratulated himself after the killing of Dwyane Wade's cousin.
Who congratulated himself by disseminating a video showing how much of that speech's total running time was taken up…by applause.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who has proposed that Russia or China should enact a Watergate-like hacking of Hillary Clinton's e-mails; who has proposed banning Muslims from entering the country, then said it was only a suggestion, then proposed it again; whose running mate has proposed banning members of other religions; who has proposed open racial profiling; who has proposed banning people from "terror nations," saying, "Look it up, they have a list"; who has proposed "ideological certification" for immigrants; who has proposed worse than waterboarding while praising how Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, and Kim Jong-un handled protest and terrorism; who has proposed that American civilians be tried by military commissions at Gitmo; who has proposed killing the families of terrorists or suspected terrorists.
A man who has proposed teaching mandatory patriotism in schools; proposed that his supporters appoint themselves as election-day voting monitors; proposed making American protection of fellow NATO members C-O-D; whose campaign proposed purging the government of all Obama appointees; proposed avoiding government debt by printing more money; proposed reducing national debt by paying less than we agreed to; proposed forestalling new financial regulations by executive order—and then in the same speech proposed eliminating…some executive orders.
A man who proposed a wall along the Mexican border to keep out undocumented immigrants; proposed mass deportation of undocumented immigrants; proposed a smaller wall and fewer deportations during a taped television interview that played at the same moment he was giving a speech in Phoenix insisting on a larger wall and more deportations.
A man who has proposed immediately expelling at least two to three million undocumented immigrants, even though this would be like trying to evacuate the city of Chicago in one day; proposed immediately expelling any others not convicted—but merely accused—of a crime.
A man who has proposed to enact all this by executive action, bypassing Congress, even though he employed undocumented immigrants in the building of Trump Tower; even though those immigrants say he not only knew of them but hired them personally; even though his own modeling agency and television shows enabled and employed undocumented immigrants; even though his own wife may have worked here without proper documentation; even though his own grandfather was reportedly not merely a fraudulent emigrant to this country but was also denied re-entry to Germany because he was a draft-dodger.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who has claimed he understood the sacrifice of losing a child in war because he had spent money to hire employees; who has claimed he understood prejudice against African-Americans because the system is also rigged against him; who claimed the election will be rigged against him; claimed the opinion polls are rigged against him, then praised one of the exact same polls when it favored him; claimed he would be leading those rigged polls by 20 points but for the rigged media; claimed Democrats are voting ten times each; claimed that his crowd in Colorado Springs would've been larger, but the fire marshal was a Democrat; claimed that his speech in Washington would have drawn as many as Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, but "nobody would let them in."
A man who has claimed he was his own best foreign-policy adviser; claimed that Putin will not go into Ukraine when he already invaded Ukraine in 2014; claimed the U.S. is paying rent for a military base in Saudi Arabia when the last one there closed in 2003; claimed that to avoid hacking, the military should stop communicating "on wires" and return to using messengers.
A man who has claimed that any candidate using a teleprompter should be ineligible, and then himself began using a teleprompter; claimed that he doesn't use notes for speeches during a speech he gave primarily from notes; claimed he will fix the problems of African-Americans, then days later suggested that an African-American athlete protesting police shootings should leave this country.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who was revealed to have asked his foreign-policy advisers three times in one hour why this country can't use nuclear weapons if we have nuclear weapons—after having asked a television interviewer the same question; who was revealed to have not known what the "nuclear triad" was.
A man who was revealed to have been the political beneficiary of fake Internet accounts underwritten by the Kremlin; revealed to have improperly sought campaign contributions from foreign nationals, including officials of foreign governments.
A man who was revealed to have erased all his e-mails, including those sought in a lawsuit, for five years; revealed to have plagiarized 20 pages in his Trump Institute handbook; revealed to have employed the purported author of his wife's Convention speech, which plagiarized part of a speech written for Michelle Obama by Hillary Clinton's former speechwriter; revealed to have said on his 2008 radio show that Hillary Clinton would "make a good president."
A man who was revealed to have admitted using the pseudonyms "John Barron" and "John Miller" while pretending to be his own press spokesman and boasting of his sexual conquests in the 1990s; revealed to have used the pseudonym "John Baron" while his company threatened its undocumented workers; revealed to have telephoned one television network to alert it to something positive being said about him on another television network.
A man revealed to have millions in outstanding loans to the Bank of China; revealed to have tried to make investment deals with Muammar Gaddafi; revealed to have once kept a book of Hitler's speeches in a cabinet near his bed.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who has allied himself with his campaign adviser and delegate, who said Hillary Clinton should be shot by firing squad for treason; who has allied himself with another campaign adviser who mused about waterboarding Hillary Clinton; who has allied himself with an African-American pastor who disseminated an image of Hillary Clinton in blackface; who has allied himself with his own son, who follows a series of white-supremacist Twitter accounts…
A man who has allied himself with at least seven campaign staffers who have disseminated racist and/or violent messages on social media; who has allied himself with a state campaign co-chairman who tweeted, "Lynch Loretta Lynch"; who has allied himself with an Illinois Trump delegate who is a white supremacist; a California Trump delegate who is a white-nationalist leader; a former personal butler who wrote on Facebook that President Obama should be "hung for treason."
A man who has allied himself with three different campaign chiefs: the first who manhandled a woman reporter, then lied about it; the second who was listed to receive $12 million from a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine; the third who has been accused under oath of anti-Semitic comments and domestic violence.
A man who has allied himself with a foreign-policy adviser accused under oath of anti-Semitic comments; with a New York State co-chair who suggested Khizr Khan supports ISIS and is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood; with a close adviser who says a Clinton aide could be a "Saudi spy" or "terrorist agent."
A man who has allied himself with a former campaign state chairman accused of drawing a gun on another campaign staffer; with a conspiracy-theorist radio host who claims the Newtown school shootings were a hoax; with a political operative so corrupt he was once fired—by Republicans—for falsifying evidence…against Hillary Clinton.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who has offered to pay the legal fees of any supporter who becomes physically violent against a heckler; who encouraged crowd members to harass and threaten a reporter, whom he called out by name and who then needed Secret Service protection; who accepted a military medal from an audience member and said, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier"; who conducted a news conference to introduce his running mate, only to spend the first 25 minutes talking only about himself; whose prominent Latino surrogate warned Mexican immigration would put "taco trucks on every corner"—four months after the nominee commemorated Cinco de Mayo by tweeting a photo of himself eating from a taco bowl.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president a man who tweeted thanks to singer Billy Joel for dedicating a song to him, never realizing Joel was, by doing so, mocking him; who gave a trade speech in Monessen, Pennsylvania, standing in front of a wall made out of bales of compressed garbage; who bragged during a presidential debate about the size of his genitalia; who gave a television interview while seated in front of a photograph of himself wearing the same suit, shirt, and tie; who appeared, in a joint news conference with the president of Mexico, with two bobby pins visible, holding his hairdo in place.
The Republican Party has actually nominated for president an irresponsible, unrealistic, naive, petulant, childish, vindictive, prejudiced, bigoted, racist, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, fascistic, authoritarian, insensitive, erratic, disturbed, irrational, inhuman individual named Donald John Trump.
Keith Olbermann is GQ’s new special correspondent.