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Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Michael Vadon

  The most salient political aspect of Donald Trump’s nomination this week is this fact: the American people have never elected anyone whose first public service was the presidency. (I include generals — Dwight Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant — as having serious experience in public service before the presidency.) Only once before has one of the two major parties nominated a business leader with no prior experience in public office, with the GOP’s selection of utility executive Wendell Willkie in 1940.   Like Trump, Willkie had been a Democrat most of his life, and only converted to the Republican Party a year before seeking the GOP nomination. But there the parallels end. Unlike Trump, Willkie had a long track record of detailed public engagement on the issues of the 1930s