Opinion piece by Alexandra Carlton of news.com.au
Take a deep breath and repeat after me: Donald Trump is the Y2K Bug of 2016. He's a pretend fear. He will never sit in the Oval Office.
Bookmark this page and come back to it every time you read another panicked poll or terrified Facebook post from one of your friends. This is your safe space. It's not going to happen.
Let's go through your biggest fears one by one, and see if we can't talk you off the ledge:
1. He's really close in the polls!
No he's not. His numbers had a brief bump about three weeks ago, shortly after the FBI decided there were no grounds to prosecute Hillary Clinton for any wrongdoing around her emails - people were a bit upset about that - but he's lagging woefully now and has been for almost the entire race.
In fact Trump is losing so badly that he even gets mouth-frothingly excited when his numbers teeter vaguely into the vicinity of Hillary Clinton's, even though they're still worse:
The most comprehensive amalgamation of all the polls can be found at Real Clear Politics. At the time of writing, they have Clinton at 47 to Trump's 40.
Election forecaster Nate Silver, who's like Dexter from Perfect Match when it comes to polling predictions, gives Trump a miserable 20 per cent chance of winning the White House at the time of writing, compared to Clinton's 79 per cent.
Trump thinks he's winning because his rallies fill stadiums. But stadiums are not states, nor are they votes. Congratulations - now that you know this, you're smarter than Donald Trump.
2. Everyone hates Hillary Clinton!
That's true. We're in the unique position of seeing two of the most unpopular US Presidential candidates of all time go head-to-head. But very few people can give a coherent answer about why they hate Clinton. Both the email and Benghazi scandals have been found to be baseless, which leaves her haters with little more than a defiant "I just don't trust her."
Fine. Luckily voters are beginning to realise that they trust a man who cheerfully invites Russia to hack US government emails even less.
3. Michael Moore said he can win!
"I have ... awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November," renegade filmmaker Michael Moore lamented in an oped at the end of June. Michael Moore has said a lot of smart things in his time. This was not one of them.
As politics nerds like to say, elections are all about maths and Donald Trump simply doesn't have the numbers - not in "the rust belt" that Moore thought he'd focus his campaign on, nor, critically, in any minority group or in any significant swing state.
I can say with all sincerity, and quite probably accuracy, that Trump is more likely to accuse New Zealand of starting the Second World War or appoint a half-eaten tin of Spam to CEO of one his casinos, than he is to win the presidency.
4. No one throught he'd win in the primaries and he did!
The Republican primaries measured one thing - how much hardcore, time-rich, registered Republican voters liked Donald Trump vs. the other Republican candidates. There were 17 candidates at the outset and Trump averaged less than third of the votes during each state primary - enough to knock out his competitors, but hardly a convincing majority.
Think about that for a minute. He only secured a small fraction of the votes from a small fraction of the Republication party. That's very different to securing the votes of an entire nation who mostly think he's crazier than Lindsay Lohan after a big night out.
5. Everyone thought Brexit wouldn't happen and it did!
Actually, the polls said pretty categorically that Brexit would happen - or at least be very, very close. It's just that no one dared believe it. One more time. Donald Trump is being destroyed in every poll, even the ones taken by his friends.
6. But no seriously what if he wins?
It's safe to say Donald Trump thinks "impeachment" is a fruit cocktail served at one of his failing casinos, but it's what will happen if he does win and tries to implement pretty much any one of his proposed policies.
Trump wants to kill entire families of terrorists? Yeah, about 2km from Trump Tower is a place called the "United Nations", where that policy is better known as an "international war crime".
He wants to pick out random countries he doesn't like and attack them with nuclear weapons? About 5km from Trump Tower is a place called "Manhattan Psychiatric Center", where people who crave nuclear war in 2016 generally wind up.
Trump ain't going to the White House, folks. The closest he's getting to Washington is this tweet:
Denzel Washington gave a wonderful commencement speech over the weekend. From the heart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2015