David Souter was appointed to the Supreme Court by GHW Bush in 1990, where he served until 2009. He began as a conservative but moved toward the center and ended somewhat liberal. He took his responsibilities very seriously and always looked carefully at the impact of his decisions on the lives of those whom the rulings would affect.
After he retired he has mostly avoided public scrutiny, but ventured out from time to time to speak on important topics, including a 2012 PBS interview where he spoke about the importance of civic education among other things. One of the more striking points Souter made in that interview was that an ignorant or apathetic populace, that does not understand who is responsible for doing what in the government, would be vulnerable to someone who popped up in a time of strife and claimed to be able to fix everyone's problems if the person only were given enough power.
As Justice Souter pointed out, that was how Augustus Caesar seized power from the Roman Senate and installed himself as Emperor, effectively destroying the Republic. "This is how democracy dies", Souter said.
Now comes Donald Trump in the 2016 cycle, asking for the job of serving as arguably the most powerful person on the planet, who has held himself up as the "only one who can fix it" and who speaks admiringly of the incredible power of nuclear weapons, asking why if we have them we cannot use them.
Wednesday in the final Presidential debate, Trump refused to agree to respect the electoral process and peaceful transfer of power that is foundational to our Republic, saying that he would look at it at the time and keep the American voters "in suspense" until then. Today, he made jokes about it, saying he would only respect the outcome if he won and clearly not comprehending the seriousness of what he said.
Trump's buffoonish and ignorant antics may be mildly amusing in a purely entertainment setting such as his reality shows, but the truth of his lifelong misogyny, arrogance, shady business dealings, revolting interpersonal dealings, and alleged criminal behavior, could not withstand the spotlight and intense scrutiny that comes with a Presidential campaign. He has been outed as the most unqualified, sleazy, dishonest, ignorant candidate of a major party in modern American history.
Putting him into the White House would present an existential threat to the institutions of civility, public service, and serious attention to the national interest that form the basis for the compact between We the People and our elected Government to whom we cede so much wealth and power.
I urge you in the strongest terms to vote against Donald Trump, and to try to get through to disaffected, apathetic, disgruntled, distracted, or otherwise fence-sitting voters and get them to understand that this election is qualitatively different than other election they have seen, wherein we need to elect a responsible (and sane) civil servant, not an emperor.
Their votes are essential to keeping a very dangerous man out of a position of power from which, once entrenched, there is every reason to believe he would not easily be removed.
Trump has no serious understanding of the U.S. Constitution and has exhibited personality traits found among sociopaths who are not capable of or do not want to bother with compassion for others. He must not be allowed into power, even if you believe the propaganda about Secretary Clinton and consider her somehow "dishonest" although objectively she has been shown to be one of the more honest politicians around.
Even if you cannot muster up enthusiasm for an intelligent, compassionate, dedicated public servant, for your own sake and for the sake of the Republic, hold your nose and vote for Hillary. Generations of women will thank you for it.