Throughout American history, very rarely has the nation been able to let out a collective sigh of relief as deep as that released on May 1, 2011. The killing of Osama bin Laden was a symbolic victory unlike any other. After all, that evening saw raucous celebrations that poured out into McKeldin Mall and Route 1 without even requiring equal and opposite mourning from Duke University.

Nobody thought that his death meant the end of turmoil in the Middle East, nor could anyone honestly claim that the average American was tangibly safer at home than before.

Nonetheless, it was a tremendous moral victory to achieve payback a decade after 9/11. Americans went to bed proud that night in a country that was quite united, at least for a brief time.

Five years later, the economy is in better shape and national security has at least been stable. As the number of men and women in uniform on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan has dwindled, attention has shifted inward.

Although conditions are seemingly on the right track, the country feels rather divided. Political battles are fiercer than ever, perhaps exemplified by the Supreme Court nomination saga. With prosperity comes a loosened sense of unity.

Perhaps the country lacks a universally reviled figure to rally against together. The Islamic State, while no less violent than bin Laden’s al-Qaida, has not produced a similarly charismatic baddie. Kim Jong Un’s rotund face doesn’t quite stir up the same feeling. Vladimir Putin is far too suave a criminal, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is gone from office.

Then there are figures that do boast a certain swagger yet simply aren’t intimidating enough. The polarizing Edward Snowden offers 21st-century technological appeal but has his fair share of supporters. While drug profiteer Martin Shkreli was named “the most hated man in America,” he seems to have been brought down by securities fraud charges. Do “Affluenza Kid” Ethan Couch and his deranged mugshot fit the bill?

What if, in doubly ironic fashion, the very man who wants to reunite the nation and “make America great again” ends up spewing divisive and un-American rhetoric on his way to somehow standing on the brink of a nomination? In turn, he brings together Democrats with “true conservatives” by giving them a common enemy. The effort to defeat him becomes a rallying point for the nation.

Does Trump meet all the requirements to take over bin Laden’s role after a five-year vacancy? His potential to inflict damage upon the United States is untold. He has certainly enjoyed close-ups on all sorts of magazine covers. Both Trump and bin Laden are known for the distinctive features on top of their heads.

Unlike bin Laden, the race to destroy Trump will not be a decade-long hunt full of twists and dead ends. It is becoming clear that Nov. 8 is the inevitable downfall. Trump himself recently declared that if he loses, “I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again.” At that point, his campaign will rest peacefully at the bottom of the ocean where it belongs.

Daniel Galitsky is a senior economics and finance major. He can be reached at