As leftists continue attacking every move and diminishing every accomplishment of President Trump, it is at the most basic level an understandable political strategy. After all, they are the (not-so-loyal) opposition, or in many quarters, the resistance. And while their strategy of going scorched-earth with no positive agenda may be desperate and ill-conceived, their ideology is after all opposite to Trump. And thus they have a responsibility to the left-of-center party faithful to demonstrate that they are doing all they can to stop this president, just as Republicans did with Barack Obama.
But when we consider the unrelentingly never-Trump Republicans and conservatives, there is no similar explanation for their contempt other than the threat which Trump represents to their comfortable grip on control of the “conservative movement.” Sure, they may legitimately disagree with the president on a few issues like tariffs or immigration, but these never-Trumpers have essentially provided no explanation for their hatred of this unmistakably conservative president beyond the belief that he is uncivilized. A low-life. Not our crowd, dear.
The likes of one-time conservative darling and self-proclaimed smartest guy in the world, George Will, have demonstrated one incredible thing through all of this (beyond taking pomposity to new heights): they care more about controlling the movement than they do about actually winning and accomplishing what they claim to support.
Consider what Mr. Will wrote in his most recent anti-Trump diatribe – which was actually even more of a vicious attack on Vice-President Pence – for his friends at the Washington Post. After calling Pence a “toady” and referring to the “lickspittle Republican Party,” Will concluded his hit piece by writing:
“Trump is what he is, a floundering, inarticulate jumble of gnawing insecurities and not-at-all compensating vanities, which is pathetic. Pence is what he has chosen to be, which is horrifying.”
This is further proof – as if we needed any – that these conservative equivalents to the ivory-tower academics on the left would rather lose with dignity than win (except unlike Will, the leftists would never attack their own guy). These never-Trumpers have chosen to stand on the sidelines snearing, and unsullied by hand-to-hand combat, rather than support a president who is on the battlefield fighting for so much of the ideology they claim to embrace. They have sacrificed their principles at the altar of personality – and control.
Put in starkest terms, they would rather elect Hillary Clinton and allow the country to fall off a leftward cliff than elect a vulgarian like Trump who agrees with – and is attempting to implement – the overwhelming majority of their own policies.
One can be left with only one possible conclusion: George Will and his fellow never-Trumpers must somehow relish the contempt they receive from the overwhelming mass of Republicans and conservatives. They must be so enamored with their own virtue-signaling, and in such denial about their own betrayal that they have lost any sense of proportion or perspective.
These are people who, like others in the conservative sphere, should be eternally grateful to Trump for, as William F. Buckley famously termed it, standing athwart history and yelling stop – and reversing Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America. But instead, they choose to continue their endless attacks on the 45th president; perhaps so they can continue being invited to those coveted inside-the-beltway dinner parties populated by self-satisfied, self-important people just like them.
At least some never-Trumpers like National Review Editor Rich Lowry (who published the infamous “Against Trump” edition of NR) have adjusted to reality. Lowry has grudgingly admitted he was wrong on some important things about Trump and now plays it straight when analyzing Trump’s presidency. Not so with the George Wills of the world who continue to bash this president with more force than they did Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
The list of stubbornly anti-Trump Republicans and conservatives remains long. Most conspicuous are “thought leaders” like Will, Bill Kristol and David Frum, political strategists like Ana Navarro and Rick Wilson, and many who others who have become similarly intoxicated by their employment in the anti-Trump elite media, like Nicole Wallace, Jennifer Rubin and of course Joe Scarborough. If you have a few minutes to kill – and remember, those are minutes you’ll never get back – you can access an exhaustive list of current and former never-Trumpers here.
All of these people are perfectly happy to serve as useful idiots for the left. They are so obviously being played by people who oppose most everything they claim to hold dear in a transparent attempt to divide Trump from his GOP base. It is hard to know which is worse, that they don’t even realize they are being used, or that they know it but don’t care.
Nowhere to Run
And while they sometimes appear to be simply a blip on the radar, these never-Trumpers will not be forgotten. If they think they can simply ride out the Trump era and then return to their former lives of comfort at the top of the swamp food chain, they are delusional. Because Trump is now molding the party into his own image – the ultimate never-Trump nightmare.
Yes, these never-Trumpers evidently believe they can simply outlast Trump and remain standing to fight another day – likely for an amiable loser. That way, they can continue doing with a Democrat president exactly what they’re doing with Trump – standing on the sidelines making brilliant philosophical arguments – without dirtying their hands by actually having to govern and legislate, or actually appreciate the gift they were handed on 11/8/16. But in the end, the people who now run from Trump will have no place to hide.
Never-Trumpers have betrayed their cause. And much like the leftists who have betrayed their country by doing everything in their power to overthrow a legitimately elected President, their day of reckoning will surely come.