What do progressives have in common with the ‘never Trump’ movement? Each was under the impression that they would have their way in the 2016 election. Having seen their respective assumptions trashed, each has become hysterical – if not genuinely unhinged – since Trump’s inauguration.
The rabid rantings of the left are in our faces every day and have been well documented – by conservative talk radio and many online publications, if not by the mainstream media.
The Never-Trump movement among Republicans is almost as loud in the social media world. The followers seem to be using the same tactics as the left; it is unnecessary to present any coherent, factual argument against Trump’s policies, just criticize and ridicule his every decision. President Trump hasn’t exactly been acting like a liberal but neither is he a traditional conservative. He is, however, a Republican president who won the election by piercing the blue wall. His victory reversed the perception that demographics increasingly favor an electoral college victory for the democratic candidate.
Conservatives – especially ‘Never Trump’ conservatives – feel that the Republican party may betray their values once again but turning away from the party risks losing power to the Democrats. This is their perennial rock and a hard place. Trump is actually moving in a generally conservative direction, although he is less concerned with small government than with efficient government – if such a thing is possible. Within his own party, he is opposed by both moderate Republicans and/or constitutional conservatives, depending on the specific policy issue.
Senator John McCain of Arizona has been one of the president’s most vocal critics within Republican ranks. Maligned by many conservatives – mostly for overstaying his welcome in the Senate – McCain opted not to attend the party’s national convention in October. There is little doubt that the senator feels contempt for the president and his supporters. During the republican primaries, he said that Trump had “fired up the crazies,” following a rally in Arizona.
McCain, of course, is not so much a Never-Trumper as he is an establishment darling; a very comfortable and content first class passenger on the Washington gravy train. His enmity toward Trump is, almost certainly, based on nothing more than his fear of the gravy train being derailed.
From the conservative side, writers and pundits pour scorn upon Trump for being an impostor; a conservative wanna-be who is suddenly leading a conservative movement largely throwing itself at his feet with dizzy disregard for their own values. Writing in November, Wall Street Journal assistant editor, Bret Stephens, declared “Donald Trump is a demagogue. Period. The right’s failure to see it is a disgrace.”
The right is showing fractures in loyalties and in ideologies, it appears. None of this bodes well for the only viable party the right currently has; the republican party.
The biggest thing that the Republican party has going for it, at present, is the disarray within the Democratic party. The Democrats are, in effect, leaderless and appear to have no platform outside of complete opposition to everything the president says or does. The regulation state is being unraveled and Democrats are scrambling to put together a game-plan for the midterm elections in 2018, in the hope that they can apply the brakes to the Trump train.
As difficult as it for the president to unite Republicans behind his agenda, a strong Democratic showing in the midterms would all but bring the Trump train to a grinding halt. The Never-Trumpers have to ask themselves these questions: Is it wise to oppose a president because he will not give us everything we want, even though he will do many of the things we’ve always believed in? Is it wise to refuse to back this president and risk giving the Democrats a foot in the door that was so recently slammed in their faces?
In politics, the pragmatist settles for what he can get, so long as the administration steers the ship of state in the right direction, Progressives understand this; they know how to implement a long-term strategy. The anti-Trump crowd appears to want it all and they want it now. The creep of progressivism can be pushed back and that is true progress worth holding on to. Discarding that progress in the name of rigid political dogma would mean cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.