(Kevin D. Liles/For the Washington Post)

The Aug. 23 editorial “A second Trump term might injure the democratic experiment beyond recovery” was the first in a series of editorials warning of another term for President Trump. That underscores what an extraordinary election this is. We are at a crossroads, one to which the unfinished Civil War has led us. As some historians acknowledge, the North viewed the Civil War as a military and moral victory. The South did not. It acknowledged only a Union military victory. And it has been thus ever since.

The choice, as we stand at the crossroads, is this: Is the United States based on ideals: democracy, freedom, equality, integrity, fairness and diversity for all? Or is it based on a people and a religion: White Christians who believe in their superiority over other peoples, and a religion with teachings wrongly construed to supersede science, reason, facts and data? The choice we make on Nov. 3 may decide the fate of our great democratic experiment. And with the past and future America looking squarely at us, what road will we take? This is the election of our lifetimes.

Michael Karath, Sonoma, Calif.

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