This Yom Kippur, I Apologize for Not Taking Donald Trump Seriously.

After last night’s debate, I feel an unwavering and dramatic need to apologize.

For almost the entirety of this election season, I’ve been in a dream-like state of denial.

When Trump announced his plans to run, I laughed. When he continued to climb, I made the conscious choice to not engage with him — even say his name — to not add fuel to the fire. When conversations about him came up, I quickly dismissed them. I thought it was the media that had produced this bigot. Maybe it was. I don’t know. More likely, I was the idiot.

After the video of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault came to light this week, I felt sure, once again, that this would be it. No country would elect this disgusting predator. Then, after watching tonight’s debate, I sat with my jaw to the floor as this topic of misogyny and sexual assault took up 5–7 minutes of the entire 2 hours. Did he manage to escape unscathed yet again? How many times would I fall into the same trap of thinking, “This has to be it”?

With the audience question about Syria and the Holocaust, as a Jew, the reality hit me even more. I always looked back on my history and thought, “Who would let that happen? How were they so stupid — so hateful?” Then I realized, I might be that idiot. That idiot that was so in denial, and so taken aback by each individual controversy, comment and situation — that they failed to see the larger possibility of what could really happen.

The possibility of a Trump presidency is real, albeit small. If he won, I would have to know that my inaction was my action.

And so now, for whatever it’s worth, I say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not taking Donald Trump seriously. I’m sorry to the people who woke up to the real danger of his presidency much sooner than I did.

I’m sorry to the millions of people who would be victimized by his policies and further bigotry if he ever were to be elected.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

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This Yom Kippur, I Apologize for Not Taking Donald Trump Seriously.

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