NOW the fun begins.

For a year, two dozen Democratic presidential candidates have been posturing, debating and trying to show the country that each is capable of beating Republican President Donald Trump in November.

Now, through primaries and caucuses, the states will decide who will run against the most controversial president in U.S. history.

The usual suspects have risen to the top of the polls—Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders—but they, at least in my opinion, don’t stand a chance. If Trump could defeat Hillary Clinton, he can beat those three.

Trump doesn’t debate or argue on facts. He is like my grandmother. He argues illogically. His replies sometimes don’t make sense and if he is cornered, he just sticks his nose in the air and proclaims, “Fake news!”

Trump does not have political supporters; he has a cult following like a rock star or a rapper and those followers can be as nasty and as illogical as he is.

How do the Democrats beat that? They don’t, especially with Biden, Warren or Sanders. They might, however, with Michael Bloomberg, who, although campaigning behind the scenes, has not even shown up in the polls.

Ironically, the Democrats don’t want Bloomberg for their candidate any more than the mainstream Republicans wanted Trump as their candidate four years ago. The former New York City mayor is not one of their own. He, like Trump, is filthy rich and, according to some Democrats, is not nasty enough to deal with the incumbent.

What Bloomberg can do is debate on a factual and logical level and that may be important in this election. While no one will separate Trump from his devoted followers, there are many mainstream Republicans who voted for the president in 2016 that don’t intend to cast their ballots for him again.

These Republicans would likely shift parties and vote for Bloomberg, but they would not support Biden, Warren or Sanders. Bloomberg is the Democrats only hope for victory.

And time is running out. The Iowa caucuses will be held on Feb. 3, which is less than a month away, and by the end of June, all 50 states will have made their choices. If Bloomberg is going to make a push, now is the time to do it.

Donald Trump cannot be beaten by a candidate running a nasty campaign. If Hillary Clinton was the queen of nasty, Trump is its king.

You don’t beat someone by attacking their strengths, but rather their weaknesses. No one is going to out-attack Donald Trump, but someone who turns the tables and presents the facts without acting like a wild man will surely appeal to a great many American voters.

It is called “acting presidential,” something Trump has struggled to do. There is a large segment of the American people who still value that (at least I hope there is) and will vote accordingly.

We need someone with class and strength to pull this country out of the mire that it is in. In the past three years, we have not “drained the swamp,” but rather have started wallowing in it.

Earlier this week, I saw a Republican post on Facebook that he wanted “to deputize the militia and go kill the politicians” while another wanted to offer Nancy Pelosi to the Iranians as a sacrifice for their dead general.

Never in my wildest dreams could I ever have thought that Americans would become so polarized that we would turn on each other with such hatred. We are at a crossroads and we need a strong—and logical—leader to pull us out of the swamp.

Trump is not that man. But he will likely be re-elected unless the Democrats pull off a miracle. And miracles are hard to come by these days.

Columnist Donnie Johnston lives in Culpeper County. Write him at djohn40330@aol.com.

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