It’s fair to wonder out loud — as some have done already — whether Donald J. Trump is deliberately trying to lose this election.
Is he throwing the election? Is he deliberately setting himself up to lose the 2016 presidential election?
I’m not ready to swallow that bait. However, some things he said today at his foreign policy speech have me wondering.
For example, and I’ll offer just this one for now …
What in the world is he thinking when he criticizes the most recent Republican president and his administration for going to war in Iraq in 2003?
Trump didn’t mention President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney by name, but he ventured into a scathing condemnation of their decision to start the Iraq War.
I can recall when Democrats did that in 2004. When Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry criticized the administration’s decision to go to war, he was vilified by Republicans. He was condemned by those who proceeded to fabricate phony criticism of Sen. Kerry’s gallant service during the Vietnam War.
Now, a dozen years later, the Republican presidential nominee says the very same thing that Democrats said about the Bush administration and the silence from the GOP base has been, well, deafening.
Still, it has me wondering whether those Republicans are going to sit this election out, denying Trump of the base of voters he’ll need to make this election competitive.
I don’t believe Trump is a stupid man. He’s smart enough — maybe, perhaps — to understand that he isn’t up to the job he is seeking. Or, just maybe he’s campaigning for president as some sort of unprecedented publicity stunt.
I can’t figure this out.
Yes, I’ve been wrong all along about the shelf life of a Trump presidential candidacy. In a normal election year, he would have been laughed off the stage and booted out of the race over any one of the many things he’s said along the way. Not this year.
I don’t feel too badly, though. Others have been just as wrong.
As long as many of us are speculating about what in the world is guiding the Trump campaign into the ditch, it’s fair to ask: Is this guy taking a dive?