By TONY LEE

For Rantoul Press

I consider myself a conservative Republican. I’m sickened by the thought of eight more years of a liberal welfare-minded Democrat in the White House, especially if it’s Hillary Clinton.

That being said, the answer is not Donald Trump. It appears the ultimate huckster is on the verge of pulling off the biggest con job in American political history.  

When Trump first entered the primary, it appeared his candidacy would add some entertainment value to an otherwise boring process. Now the Republican Party is fast approaching a nightmare that won’t go away.

From the land of Honey Boo Boo, Wrestlemania and the Kardashians, here comes Trump.  This pied piper of hatred will likely take the party right over the cliff in November, but an even scarier thought is Trump as president of the United States.

Trump supporters love to tout that "he tells it like it is." But what comes out of his mouth depends on who he is pandering to at any particular time.  

The website Politifact did an analysis of 77 statements made by Trump, and found that 76 percent were "mostly false," "false" or "pants on fire."

Trump has been hard-pressed to come up with any coherent set of policies, and when he does they are wildly inconsistent. Depending on when he is asked, Trump has been both pro-life and pro-choice. He has been both for and against a ban on assault weapons.  Trump first advocated for allowing Syrian refugees into the country, and now argues for deporting all Muslims.

Trump’s  pronouncements that our military should use torture and not only kill ISIS members, but also their wives and children, is appealing to ultra-right hawks, but is plain and simply advocating war crimes.

Trump’s statements about women and Hispanics are not just insensitive, but blatantly insulting. His belated and half-hearted disavowal of Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was mind-blowing. Arrogance and bullying are his hallmarks.

Trump’s two most revealing quotes are "I love the poorly educated" and "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters."

Another pro-Trump claim is that his business success will play well in Washington. Close examination shows Trump Shuttle, Trump Vodka and Trump Word Magazine are just a few of his failed businesses. Trump University is facing a multitude of lawsuits.

In 2006 he launched Trump Mortgage on the eve of the housing market collapse. Trump Tower in New York was built primarily by Polish immigrants who were paid less than half minimum wage. Trump has repeatedly used bankruptcy to his business advantage.

Trump’s boast that he is beholding to no one because he is self-financing his campaign also warrants scrutiny. The truth is Trump is loaning money to his campaign, which can then be repaid out of campaign donations and federal money. A visit to Trump’s website shows he is not the least bit shy in soliciting campaign contributions.

Linguists attempting to understand the appeal of Donald Trump did an analysis of words he used in the debates, which showed Trump was communicating at a third-grade level. But a far more harrowing analysis was one which showed a remarkable similarity between Trump’s words and those used by a certain German ruler in the 1920s to the 1940s.

This nominating process will have far-reaching impact, not just for the Republican Party and the presidency, but how we are perceived by the rest of the world. At best they are laughing at us. More likely they are grimacing that the United States, once a shining beacon, would actually consider electing a divisive, hate-mongering, intolerant demagogue  to the highest office in the land.

Tony Lee is a resident of Paxton.