Resist. It was a fait accompli of the Trump election for the left. They are always opposed to Republican politicians. They dismiss them as dumb, racist or ‘out of touch’ white men. Trump’s over the top behavior, however, pushed them over the edge. While their response to the Trump presidency has been vulgar, mean-spirited and devoid of any semblance of rational thought; it’s also not surprising. What is surprising is the relentless attacks and dismissals coming from those on the right. Even after the election.
During the campaign, I was a never-Trumper. Nothing in Trump’s past indicated that he would govern as a conservative. Also, none of his comments on the trail or in the debates led me to believe he was adept on the issues. This is not that uncommon as even seasoned politicians find it difficult to get their sea legs when thrust into the national spotlight. Trump’s learning curve was extreme having no political experience and no record on which to run. Even if we were to believe his ideas could evolve, he would not have the temperament or savvy to push his agenda through. These were my thoughts at the time and what I thought the conservative intellectuals who were never-Trumpers believed. I was wrong.
What we found is that they believed Trump to be beneath the office and, to be honest, beneath them and they were destined to show their superiority. The title itself, never-Trumper, implied that a person, for whatever reason, was vowing never to vote for Donald Trump, regardless of their being a Republican. For some it meant staying home on election day, others endorsed a third-party candidate and some did the unthinkable; endorsed Hillary Clinton. All of these acts of protest were leading up to 11/8/16. For all the bad feelings, errors and attacks; the never-trumping was going to stop 11/9/2016, right?
After a contentious election, you would think that a new game would begin. Logic portends that those Republicans who were against him would continue to call him out when he’s wrong but on issues they agree with, they would work to support him. This is far from reality. For some, they were still trying to win the last game, long after the stadium lights had been turned off.
They started after he won the nomination; starting committees to oppose him and trying to find a third-party candidate to run against him. Some went on to support Hillary Clinton. Much of that can even be forgiven. They really didn’t want him to win. It’s their actions since the election that have been downright foolish. Some, like George Will, have left the party; others, like Bill Kristol and David French, write articles with vicious attacks that rival the most liberal detractors; still others, like Bret Stephens, write articles giving him credit on some things but ends with, “I still wish Hillary Clinton were president.”
The problem with being currently in the never-Trumper camp, is that it speaks to your lack of depth or understanding of what’s truly hurting our country. Anyone who hears me speak or reads my articles knows that my most fervent believe is that the Left is eroding the culture and hurting our society. I believe it’s been going on for decades but the Trump ‘distraction’ allows them to ramp up their efforts. Obvious, anyone on the left would dismiss what I’m saying but this message is not for them. Keep in mind, I’m talking about people who, before Trump announced his run, were writing well thought out articles explaining the flaws of liberal policies and ideas.
None of this is to say that Trump is perfect. He has said some incredibly stupid things. Many of his tweets are unnecessary and undermined his own actions. Some of his policy beliefs also go against traditional conservatism. His recent tariff and trade war threats are counterproductive and more protectionist than free-market capitalist. And his, ‘take the guns first, go through due process second’ comment is right out of the fascist playbook the Left has foolishly accused him of governing from for over a year. These are the things the conservative intellectuals should be holding him accountable for. They would have far more credibility doing it if they weren’t screaming, 'The sky is falling' every time he speaks or tweets.
If you remove the man from the conversation, there have been several things for a conservative to be happy about. Tax Reform, reduced illegal crossings, the moving of the embassy in Israel, the repatriation of tax dollars and conservative judicial appointments are just a few. Greater than these, is what is not being done. This administration is not openly assisting the Left in their goal to shift the values of the country. For this, I am most grateful.
I understand you cannot simply ‘remove the man’ and he is obviously flawed. However, he has a congress to hold him in check and more than his fair share of attacks from the right. In addition to the typical gateway fare, he’s attacked on billboards, at sporting events, on TV shows and in every major city in America. What does help from conservatives add? Continuing as a never-Trumper can only hurt. Instead of holding him accountable or, better, helping him properly administer conservatism, you are giving aide to the enemy and working harder to make yourself feel good than you are at improving our political landscape. This is foolish and petty.