ELLIOT: What Clinton can do if she really believes Trump is a threat to the Republic

U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a Women for Hillary campaign finance event in Washington

Here’s one way to assess whether Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats really think Donald Trump is the threat to America (and the world, and civilization, and human existence) that they claim he is. If Trump is as bad as they — and some Republicans, and plenty of others — say, then the sensible thing to do would be to show that such an extreme and unprecedented danger to America requires the “sensible” people, those of all political ideologies, to rally to ensure the survival of our way of life.Let’s say the two following assumptions are true: 1) Hillary Clinton sincerely believes her own rhetoric about the exceptional danger Trump poses to the nation; and 2) Hillary Clinton sincerely loves America and would make great sacrifices for the country’s survival. If they’re both true, why not announce her cabinet ahead of time, forming a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and others who can, through the combined weight of their stature and experience, convince the electorate (or just the Electoral College?) that the threat to the country is just too great to play politics as usual.This strategy is far-fetched, to be sure. But one of voters’ main concerns with Clinton is her lust for power. She seems, throughout her long, public career, to do whatever it takes to amass the control she craves. It’s a family tradition, after all, but it would be effectively muted by ceding day-to-day control of some of the executive branch machinery to those outside her loyalty structure and especially her party.Many would see it as opportunist, but probably enough would see it as the safer choice in an election where almost everyone is saying they don’t like Trump or Clinton very much. But it would require giving up some power. Is Clinton capable of that? And, to go back to the assumptions above, do Democrats really think Trump is as extreme as they say he is? After all, I seem to recall just about every Republican since Nelson Rockefeller being called “extreme” and a “danger to America.” But maybe they really, really mean it this time. Now we know how to tell. Note: My wife and I have been watching “Designated Survivor,” the ABC drama on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. In the show, Keifer Sutherland plays the role of a Housing and Urban Development secretary thrust into the presidency when the president, Congress, and the cabinet are killed in a bombing of the Capitol during the State of the Union address. It’s an interesting topic, and I’m going to make a prediction for tonight’s show: Sutherland will form a coalition government because of the magnitude of the crisis and the need to pull the country together. We’ll see.