The fix is in. Forces are rallying to thwart Donald Trump’s presidential bid and restore order in American politics. They seek to cauterize the body politic by claiming he is an evil man who must be stopped to preserve the essential goodness of America.

Soon Trump will take his place alongside Joe McCarthy and George Wallace as political bogeymen who sought to corrupt the purity of American character.

Forgotten will be the 14 million energized by Trump’s vitriol and hate. It’s reasonable to expect millions more will vote for him as he is defeated in November.

Left behind will be the gnawing reality that Americans have shown again that incivility, bigotry and hate continue to be powerful forces. Trump’s success shows us how politicians, armed with modern media and junk science, are better at the dark arts than ever before.

Cynics will remind us that incivility has been with us forever. However, things are different today, and we have good reason to be concerned. Trump’s tactics are far from the underhanded but simple “dirty tricks” of the past.

He spews filthy ideas into every living room with the complicit involvement of our most powerful media, so desperate for clicks and eyeballs on the screen that they abandoned ethical judgment.

There is reason to believe that Trump’s success is partly due to a unique talent, but we also know that political scientists are now armed with focus groups, sophisticated polling and finely tuned behavior science that make it possible to cause gullible voters to dance at the end of their puppet strings.

Trump is different because he has the audacity to use this power, the same audacity many fear he would use in the application of nuclear weapons. He probably has shown the way for others.

Don’t think disaster will be averted. Hatred and fear continue to thrive in America, and our education system seems unequipped to combat it, especially as the quality of education for less wealthy Americans diminishes.

It’s entirely possible that the next demagogue will come from the left. Our only hope is that American majorities acquire enough discernment to recognize manipulative political tactics and have the discipline and wisdom to prevent them from taking hold.

Dave Scott

Copley Township

Editor’s note: The writer was the lead reporter for the newspaper’s 2012 Ohio Civility Project.

Nuclear power ?nonrenewable

The newspaper mischaracterized New York State’s new renewable energy standards in an editorial supporting a bailout of FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant (“New York sets a good example,” Aug. 20).

New York’s “50 by 30” renewable standard requires that 50 percent of the state’s electricity must come from clean, renewable sources such as solar and wind power by 2030.

Not one megawatt hour of nuclear power will count toward that specific requirement, and nuclear should not emerge as a “clean” solution for Ohio, either. Instead, the state should invest in the untapped potential for a renewable energy revolution that is withering under an ill-informed two-year freeze imposed by the legislature.

Rather than hunting around for a lifeline for FirstEnergy’s uneconomic nuclear power plants, the Beacon Journal should continue its record of weighing in thoughtfully on common-sense energy policies such as ending the freeze on renewable energy standards, that would actually propel Ohio forward.

That is the best way for Ohio to leverage its strengths in manufacturing and position itself as a player in the new energy economy.

Samantha Williams

Staff attorney

Natural Resources Defense Council

Chicago