I don't want my children to grow up in Donald Trump's America.
Trump, you see, envisions a country that is defined by insult and derision, by hateful rhetoric and by the steadfast belief that only those who agree with him have the right to express their opinions.
Trump surprisingly has been successful with that strategy, but it's not Trump who worries me. It's his fans.
Because when Trump says that Mexican immigrants are killers and rapists, or insults Sen. John McCain's service to this country, or insinuates that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's job performance is tied to her menstrual cycle, some of Trump's followers can't separate rhetoric from reality.
How else to explain their senseless attack on a Black Lives Matter protester who came to one of Trump's rallies to exercise the very American rights that Trump claims he wants to protect?
The incident - just the latest in a campaign I'm convinced will be repackaged and sold as a reality-show-style documentary - occurred during a Trump campaign rally in Birmingham, Ala.
It began when an activist, Mercutio Southall Jr., interrupted Trump's rally by shouting, "Black lives matter!" A scuffle ensued, and Trump demanded the man's removal from the hall.
"Get him the hell out of here, will you, please?" Trump said during the Saturday morning rally. "Get him out of here. Throw him out!"
On a cellphone video captured by CNN, Southall appears to be surrounded by a group of white men who look to be kicking and punching him as he is on the ground.
Southall is eventually escorted from the hall by security, and Trump, who was asked about the incident the next day, said something that I found curious.
"Maybe he should have been roughed up," Trump told the Fox News Channel, "because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble."
Let's set aside for a moment the rank hypocrisy and utter hubris that is required for a man like Trump to call anyone obnoxious.
Frankly, what Trump said before that is much more important.
"I have a lot of fans," he said, "and they were not happy about it."
Why is that Trump's most important statement? It's important because it is the key to Trump's appeal. He has a lot of fans who are not happy when a protester stands up to decry the fact that young black men are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than their white counterparts, according to investigative news organization Pro Publica.
Trump also has fans who are not happy about Mexican immigrants, or religious diversity, or women in the workplace, or Republicans who dare to compromise for the greater good of the country.
Those fans are not happy, and so they cheer when Trump says Muslims should be made to carry special identification. They wink when he insults Carly Fiorina and Megyn Kelly. They nod in agreement when Trump, who never served in the military, insults John McCain, who not only served, but was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War.
I don't agree with Trump's fans, but I believe they have the right to express their viewpoint, just as a Black Lives Matter protester named Mercutio Southall Jr. has the right to express his.
That, I believe, is the difference between Donald Trump and a true patriot. It's the difference between the truth of America's creed and the fallacy that Trump is peddling. It's the divide that separates freedom from slavery, demagoguery from democracy and right from wrong.
I don't want my children to grow up in an America where one deserves to get roughed up for exercising the rights so many have fought and died to defend.