Not so long ago it was said that the idea Donald Trump might be elected the Republican candidate for president was outlandish, and then it happened, but, don't worry, there was no way he'd stand a chance of getting voted into the most powerful office in the world, and yet now, with the US election less than 50 days off and early voting already under way in some states, he's neck and neck in polling with Hillary Clinton, so it's about time to ask whether he would really be so face-meltingly terrible as some suggest, or whether he might actually be fine, and it seems to me, when you think about the reality of a President Donald Trump, that apart from the way he's stoked the fires of prejudice across America, by declaring a blanket ban on Muslims entering the country, by pledging the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants, by announcing that Mexican immigrants are drug dealers and rapists, by pledging as his core policy plank to build a wall separating Mexico from the US, which in defiance of basic rational sense he is going to get Mexico to pay for, by declaring that a US-born Supreme Court judge was unfit for such a role because of his "Mexican heritage", not to mention Trump Jr cheerfully promoting his father's campaign by comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles, and apart from his commitment to an array of swivel-eyed thinking that would make a garden-variety conspiracy theorist blush, whether it be the declaration that global warming is a hoax propagated by the Chinese or the oh-so-statesman-like claim that Barack Obama, whom he's accused of founding Isis, was born outside America, a smear he held firm to until just the last few days, when he explained that it was always Hillary Clinton's idea anyway, and he was here to put an end to the nonsense spurred by the woman he has called "brainwashed", a "monster", "the devil", and the "most corrupt candidate ever", while cheerfully and dramatically misrepresenting her policy positions, for example in asserting that she would bring 620,000 Syrian refugees into the US, and let's recall in passing the catalogue of abuse hurled at his fellow Republican contenders, such as drawing a comparison between Ben Carson's admission to having a violent temper when young with the behaviour of child molesters, and insinuating that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the assassination of John F Kennedy, and apart from his alarming refusal, in defiance of four decades of bipartisan concord, to release his tax returns, and apart from the panoply of scandals swirling around his hotel businesses, his Trump University, described by one former employee as a "fraudulent scheme", which "preyed upon the elderly and uneducated", and his charitable foundation, funds from which, the Washington Post this week reported, had been used to settle lawsuits involving his businesses, and apart from Trump's comparison of his own sacrifices in business to those of the parents of an American Muslim killed at war, or his tender explanation that he "can relate" to the victims of racism because "even the system against me is rigged", and if you overlook for a moment the fact that he has, as Fox News host Megyn Kelly pointed out, called women "fat pigs", "dogs", "slobs" and "disgusting animals", as well as attacking Kelly for having "blood coming out of her wherever", which is all part of a rich tapestry of remarks, including, "if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her", the suggestion that fathers who change nappies are "acting like the wife", and the observation that "it doesn't really matter what [media] writes as long as you've got a young and beautiful piece of ass", and were it not for the Republican candidate's cavalier approach to pedantic matters like facts, going beyond his history of inventing pseudonyms to perform as his own press spokesman or his avowed attachment to "truthful hyperbole", and cranking things up to a contempt for plain-as-day, stare-you-in-the-face truth, as evinced in his repeated lies about having opposed the Iraq War before it began, his fantasies about having seen Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey and his fabrications about 9/11 hijackers sending their wives back to Saudi Arabia, along with his incoherent, loose-as-a-garden-hose pronouncements on everything from abortion to gun control to immigration, or his ignorance of and indifference to the US constitution, or his involvement in an estimated 1900 court cases as a plaintiff and 1450 as a defendant, or his attacks on the media, including routine bans on outlets who report unfavourably attending his public events and the pledge to "open up the libel laws" so that "when they write hit pieces, we can sue them, and they can lose money", or his reported consideration of the appointment to the Supreme Court of Peter Thiel, the libertarian Silicon Valley billionaire who secretly bankrolled a lawsuit that bankrupted the website Gawker, or his support for torture and the assassination of terrorists' families, or his offhand threats to quit the WTO or Nato, or his praise for the way Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-un cracked down on criminality and his respect for the Chinese response to Tiananmen Square, which "shows you the power of strength", or the mocking of war veteran Senator John McCain for getting captured in Vietnam, or his exhortations to supporters to physically attack protesters at rallies, or his totally cunning plan that will completely eradicate Isis but about which he cannot share a skerrick of detail because then the bad people in Isis will know about his totally cunning plan which may or may not involve sticking a tail on his own backside and self-determining as a weasel, or his ability to attract eager endorsements from an array of extremists including the head of the American Nazi Party, three former Ku Klux Klansmen and a host of other similarly minded poppets, and as long as you ignore the reality that, as president, this thin-skinned, vindictive, volatile, authoritarian fabulist would, in the words of nuclear security authority Bruce G Blair, "be free to launch a civilisation-ending nuclear war on his own any time he chose", then, you know, put on the kettle and relax, a President Donald Trump will probably be OK.