The Problem with #NeverTrump Conservatives
I, like many others on the internet regularly engage in debates online about different issues and newsworthy items. It becomes sport dodging the strawmen and ad hominem that we on the right have become accustomed to from our friends on the left. The internet is a battlefield of ideas, and the parlay we regularly engage in when we aren’t being blocked by social media giants does help us see the true feelings of our ideological adversaries, and gain an understanding of the priorities of ourselves and the “other side” of the aisle.
There is one personality that creates a far more ferocious reaction online than even your most progressive of leftists: the #nevertrump conservative.
The NeverTrump conservative creates an unparalleled anger on social media, they are viewed as treasonous to the cause by the right, and moral busybodies and ancient by the left. The question that many have been asking, or at least those who actually care about ideas and movements, is why do these people garner so much hate from the right wing? The NeverTrumpers have attempted to answer this question themselves by suggesting that supporters of Trump are a cult, or are more interested in winning rather than policy, or even worse, that we are all just like the social justice warriors on the left and engage in our own version of identity politics, but I have an even easier answer for you.
The reason why NeverTrumpers receive so much flak on the internet when they make statements is because they just don’t get it, and their lack of understanding is precisely why so many on the right felt abandoned by the Republican party and voted for someone who was bellicose, vulgar, and ultimately, successful. I believe that the NeverTrump movement personifies exactly what has been wrong with the Republican party and why they just couldn’t resonate for decades with modern America.
NeverTrumpers are the country club republicans who told us to ignore John McCain’s constant voting with the Democrats and said he really was a “true conservative” when it mattered, these are the same Republicans who told us not to worry that Mitt Romney said he supported abortion in two different campaigns (1994 Senate and 2002 Gubernatorial) and that he was a “true conservative” when it mattered. These are also the same Republicans that claimed support and even said they helped lead the tea party movement, yet somehow we seemed to achieve nothing when we took over the Senate and House for the GOP after much fanfare from these same Republicans who now tell us how lost we are in the movement because of our support for Trump.
NeverTrump is mostly made up of seasoned commentators and columnists who have been voicing the conservative movement for decades, but somehow can’t seem to understand how that movement is able to not only vote for, but strongly support, Donald J. Trump. The big reason, I suspect is that it’s been a very long time since many of these people have spoken to an actual voter in lieu of their fellow nevertrump ilk who do nothing but deride the idea that Donald Trump has a twitter account and is going to somehow derail conservatism forever because he doesn’t quote Thomas Sowell, or because he is direct with the American people instead of filtering his thoughts through focus groups and making sure Karl Rove sees it first.
There is a jealousy factor in the NeverTrump movement. Many of these people had the ease of screaming about terrorism for years under George W. Bush and didn’t have to question the deficit spending, the tariffs being imposed, or even the expansion of government for the DHS and the patriot act. When Obama came into office they were able to settle with being contrarian and continually playing the loyal opposition. They were fine with being called the part of “no” because it meant they didn’t have to risk actually proposing anything or making a difficult decision. Now that Trump is in office they realized that they have become soft and can’t remember how to fight when there is a murky subject that requires a nuanced view and an understanding of the needs of their base.
The NeverTrump conservative typifies the “establishment” so many complain about. Their penchant to punch Trump at any given opportunity makes them seem as if they are more willing to go back to the easy days of a Democrat President so they could rake in their advertising while telling everyone of the existential threat of Progressive policies. The reason why so much anger is thrown at NeverTrumpers isn’t because they stand against Trump, we know plenty who do, and we have debates about separate policies all the time, it’s because they talk down to us more than the left does, and it’s because their hubris doesn’t allow them to see all of the failures they have made and can’t seem to understand why “average America” doesn’t trust them at all. Yes Trump is brash, boisterous, and more often than not puts us in awkward positions with his ill thought out statements, but what Trump isn’t is a lie fed to us by Republicans that someone who is defiantly against our own interests is somehow the greatest conservative that ever lived, like they said with Mitt “Abortion must be protected” Romney or John “Obamacare should be kept” McCain.