I haven’t shared much about my political opinions regarding this presidential race, especially as it pertains to Donald Trump. On a quick scan, he espouses beliefs that are antithetical to many of my core positions. His misogynist and xenophobic responses are off-putting. His penchant to readily sue people, and thus, use the court system as a financial investment, sets a dangerous precedent. As a person who has been tied up in legal proceedings for the better part of four years, where the individual who drew me into this circus has used the court system as a financial profit maker, suing her parents, friends, and anyone else she can ensnare, I know the first hand damage of Trump’s court hopping.

It’s not just those things, though. Trump sets a paradigm for cruelty. He unleashes within people their worst fear and hate. This is precarious path we tread. If I were just looking at Trump as an individual, he wouldn’t hold much weight for me. What scares me about a Trump presidency is the release it will give others to hate.

Take Hitler. (And before anyone jumps all over this reference, allow me to be clear. I am by no means comparing Trump or a Trump presidency to Adolf Hitler and his regime. The jury is still out on positing such a comparison.) Still, there is a noteworthy observation I must make. I believe history has given Hitler too much credit for the atrocities that happened to the Jews and other minority groups during WWII. Make no mistake: Hitler was an evil man. But what about his henchmen and leaders from other countries who carried out the orders, and created torturous and murderous activities for their own bemusing? After all, it wasn’t Germany or Austria who killed the most Jews. There were less than 200,000 (roughly 3.3%) killed in those countries; whereas, Poland and the USSR were responsible for more than 4.5 million (roughly 75%) of the total population. So why did Hitler get so much notoriety? Because Hitler was the brash, loud mouth charismatic. The name caller and visionary. His sales pitch was to convey how true Germans had fallen upon dark times because of the enemies within and outside the country. He wanted the German people to remember that they were a great people, and that their grandeur had been sullied by the Jews.

Getting back to Trump. What scares me about Trump are those who will believe his rhetoric, those who will be inspired to release their fear and hate. Are all or most Trump supporters made of this mettle to which I refer? Absolutely not! I have friends (some of whom are close) who will vote for Trump in November. They are reasonable people, but they all share one vulnerability – they downplay Trump’s divisive rhetoric. I do not. I will not.

I know what hate breeds, and it does not resemble love.

I do give Trump credit for one thing. He allows people to remove their masks, revealing their fear. I have spent the better part of 20 years challenging people to remove their masks. However, there is a stark difference between Trump’s de-masking and mine. I ask the masks to be lowered in order to remove the fear, giving us a chance to see the better selves that exists within all of us. Trump does not.