Never Trumpers: Traitors to the cause?
What is wrong with Never Trump conservatives? asked Dennis Prager in NationalReview.com. President Trump’s achievements in office—including putting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, and undoing “economy-choking” Obama-era regulations— should have all conservatives “jumping for joy.” Yet the Never Trump wing of the conservative commentariat continually criticizes everything our Republican president does. Trump may be “a flawed man,” but he’s on our side in the “existential battle for preserving our nation.” If Trump fails and Democrats return to power, they’ll continue their “relentless push toward European-style socialism”— expanding the federal government, corrupting our culture, and weakening our military. In other words, “we are in a civil war,” with “the survival of America as we know it at stake.” Never Trump conservatives should accept that Trump “is our general”—and “report for duty.”
I’ll praise Trump when he deserves it, said David French in NationalReview.com, but don’t ask me to surrender my principles. We Never Trumpers cheered when he nominated Gorsuch and began delegating more authority to military commanders in the field. What we won’t do is make excuses for his “dishonesty” and “erratic behavior,” or engage in rank hypocrisy. If a President Clinton had fired FBI Director James Comey to halt an investigation into her campaign, it would have rightly led to demands “for impeachment from the very same voices that so zealously defend Trump today.” The idea that conservatives are “troops” who must pledge loyalty to our “general” is particularly wrongheaded, said Erick Erickson in TheResurgent.com. Conservatism is about principles and ideas, “not personality.” Trump’s “deranged apologists” can choose to explain away his lies, immorality, and incompetence if they want, but “I’d prefer not to surrender my intellectual honesty.”
What “a tangled web” conservatism has become in the age of Trump, said Robert Tracinski in The Federalist.com. At first, I was anti-Trump, then anti-anti-Trump after the election, but landed in the anti-anti-anti-Trump camp because of the president’s “foolish and reckless” behavior. But rather than join the conservatives who loathe Trump so much they’ve turned it into “a personal identity,” I’ve decided to judge Trump by his individual actions and whether they help the conservative cause or not. “Where does that put me, exactly?” In nobody’s camp, thinking for myself.