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Thursday, July 19, 2018


Often a presidential candidate turns out to be more liberal than they let on before they are elected. In President Trump’s case it may have been the other way around. He may have been more conservative than he let on. In fact, it may well be that Trump intentionally portrayed himself as more of a pragmatist (which he is) than either a conservative or liberal.

One and a half years into his first term Trump has demonstrated himself to be fairly conservative. At least the achievements he has racked up pretty much align with a conservative agenda.

Even so, Never Trumpers still have their collective noses out of joint. Their irrationality persists in spite of Trump’s accomplishments including tax cuts, appointment of good judges and justices, the promotion of deregulation, restraint on military adventurism, and a strong stance against illegal immigration to name a few of the campaign promises he has kept. These are all things conservatives have worked for over decades. Now that they are finally being fulfilled, Never Trumpers are unhappy because a despised outsider is achieving them.

Trump values loyalty as any good leader should. Why would anyone perceived to be untrustworthy be brought on board as an advisor or otherwise be consulted? This is one plausible reason Never Trumpers have been shut out of policy-making and they are miffed.

George Will, one of the more radical of Never Trumpers, bolted from the Republican Party in June 2016 over Donald Trump’s nomination. His extreme hatred borders on the irrational. Will, once a respected conservative commentator is losing all credibility. He wrote a column in the Washington Post on June 22, 2018 encouraging all Americans to vote against the GOP slate in the 2018 midterm elections. The idea is to “quarantine” Trump to render him ineffective. It doesn’t matter what happens to the United States. It is all about neutering Trump. However, it is unlikely he will find enough lemmings to follow him over the cliff to make any difference.

If Americans are foolish enough to follow his advice, they will not be voting for the Democrat Party of Adlai Stevenson, President John Kennedy, or Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Will is encouraging Americans to vote for the feckless leftist party of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

On the other hand, Republican Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard will go over the cliff with George Will. Ditto Republican David Frum of the Atlantic. Kristol has stated that disposing of Trump cannot be done in a day and he is quietly working on a 2020 plan to defeat him if Trump should seek a second term.

There are some Never Trumpers who have moderated since Donald Trump’s election. Call them Trump Skeptics. Included in this group are Rich Lowry of National Review and Jonah Goldberg also of National Review and a Fox News contributor. They dislike Trump because of who he is, not what he has done.

Before the 2016 election the Never Trumpers were fairly united by simple opposition to Trump as the Republican nominee. But Trump’s continued accomplishments have made the case of the Never Trumpers vastly more difficult. As President Trump’s achievements increase and are in line with policies conservatives have advocated for years, Never Trumpers appear more ridiculous. As long as Trump adds to conservative successes then life for the Never Trumpers becomes more irrelevant.

Never Trumpers, and in particular several neoconservatives who were formerly Democrats or mildly liberal in their persuasion, have lost their footing and may have regressed back to their former state. If this is true, then they may end up in the wilderness for a long time accepted by no one.


Dennis M. Patrick can be contacted at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).



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