Attacking Trump for the Few Sensible Things He Says is Bad Politics and Bad Strategy

Donald Trump is a monster, a buffoon, an ignorant orange clown, a sociopath and a narcissist. He is racist and misogynist. He has so little impulse control that he erupted with a pathetic defense of the size of his penis in the middle of a presidential debate, and tweeted unflattering pictures of Ted Cruz's wife next to his own wife. It was at that point that even Rudy Giuliani, the most virulently racist politician allowed an audience on US national television, seemed to temporarily pull back from Trump's campaign -- not out of disgust but more likely from nagging doubts about whether a "man baby" with an eighth-grade mentality could get much further without self-destructing. But he did.

With all this foul baggage and unpopular political positions on many issues, you have to wonder why so many liberals would insist on trying to discredit Trump for the few things he says that are arguably true or sensible. At least Hillary Clinton was smart enough to try and take the "trade" issue away from him -- thanks largely to Bernie Sanders' campaign -- by changing her position and opposing the TPP (although her delegates fought to keep this opposition out of the Democratic platform).

Since last week Trump has come under heavy fire his response to a question as to whether he would "come to their immediate military aid," if NATO members including Latvia, Lithuania, or Estonia, were attacked by Russia. He said yes, but only "if they fulfill their obligations to us." He asserted that he wants Europeans to pay for their own defense. Imagine that! I'm sure that the white working class voters who will, as in most of the presidential elections of the past half-century, make up the swing voters this year will recoil in horror at this idea.

A version of this op-ed was originally published by The Hill on July 26, 2016. Read the rest here.

Mark Weisbrot is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and the president of Just Foreign Policy. He is also the author of the new book "Failed: What the 'Experts' Got Wrong About the Global Economy" (2015, Oxford University Press). You can subscribe to his columns here.