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The most horrifying thing about Donald Trump’s horrifying New York Times interview.

The internet is spilling over with denunciations of the reckless things Trump told the Times’s David Sanger and Maggie Haberman, most specifically his threat to abrogate our NATO treaty obligations.

These specific concerns are all well taken, but what concerns me more than any one of Trump’s comments is the more meta-sense in which his views are crystallizing, cohering, becoming fixed—and yet they remain extremely dangerous.

Until very recently, many of the alarming things that came out of Trump’s mouth tumbled forth in an ignorant ramble. This was never terribly reassuring, but it was the source of a lot of wishful thinking that Trump could be educated or contained. Now read the transcript. Given time to revise and extend, the ramble is mostly gone, but his positions remain horrifying. Even if our sense that Trump might provoke a war by accident begins to ebb, it will be replaced by a sense that he might provoke war on purpose.