Trump?

I’ve spent a lot of time defending Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean I don’t share some of the concerns about his campaign.

I was already pretty disturbed when Trump disparaged John McCain for being captured. I had to put it aside as just a stupid thing to say that most people don’t understand the wrongness of it.

Let me point out that McCain was shot down. That can happen when someone’s in combat, particularly if they’re close. No amount of skill will protect you from a well-placed shot. The elder George Bush was shot down, too. The Red Baron was shot down twice. Getting shot down doesn’t mean they erred. It means they fought hard, were willing to risk their lives, and came within an inch of losing them. What Trump said was wrong.

But a flippant comment can be excused. That’s part of this game. Speaking off the cuff risks going overboard, and so these things should be expected. And he did try to walk that back.

What Trump said in the debate before last is far worse. PJ Media’s Scott Ott, Steven Green and Bill Whittle show their anger over his B.S. notion that “Bush lied” about WMDs:

I can see the anger and disgust in everyone’s eyes in the video. I share them.

No, Bush didn’t lie about WMDs. Saddam Hussein looked like he had a working WMD program because he intended to make his enemies think that he did.

Trump’s comments weren’t merely wrong factually. They feed into the anti-American mythology that the left and the Islamists keep running.

The trouble is, I agree with Trump on the immigration issue. It really is a serious problem, more serious than most people realize. The GOP screwed up on a lot of issues, but they’re downright ignorant on how far off course they’ve gone on this one. Even now, they see it as a political problem to be overcome. It’s not.

There are many valid fears about electing Donald Trump. Some of his promises, if kept, will not work out the way that people wish. But he will do something about illegal immigration and most of his opponents have shown they will not. (I don’t even care if Mexico pays for a wall.) The GOP has been plainly dishonest about it.

If you don’t understand why people are still going to Trump, imagine that the entire world is on fire. The old political equations can’t work in such a situation. If the world was vastly different, I might have been happy with Jeb Bush. But it’s not.

But there are other issues, you might say. Like Iran? The Congressional Republicans played games with that, too. President Obama took the blame, but, as Andrew McCarthy wrote, they had their own reasons to allow it to happen. In the Senate, only Senator Tom Cotton voted against it. (Ted Cruz said he thought it was a bad bill, but voted for it after his own bill failed, saying it was better than nothing.)

Ultimately, immigration isn’t the main issue so much as it will affect every issue. It means bringing in people who will one day vote with priorities different from our own.

Can Trump win? Yes. As I said, Trump will need to bring in an “establishment” GOP VP candidate to smooth things over. It’s not a perfect solution — to some, losing is a demonstration of principle — but it will help bring back many of his critics.

That being said, Ted Cruz is an alternative. I don’t see him being quite as viable, but it is tempting to support him simply because he’s better than the next alternatives. We need Cruz to stay in the race if Trump can’t close the deal. That’s a good reason to vote for him even if you prefer Trump.

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