Never Trumpers’ descent into madness

Too many anti-Trump Republicans have become hypocritical, snobbish and politically incoherent.

Sam Allen

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Topics Politics USA

It is perfectly understandable why a lifelong committed conservative would not like President Donald Trump. Unless you’ve drank the MAGA kool-aid, it is fairly obvious that he is a deeply unpleasant man. Even if you agree with his fiscal decisions or foreign policy, Trump’s puerile, narcissistic tendencies are hard to excuse. Hence, I can respect a self-described conservative who is opposed to Trump based on moral principle.

But then there’s the Never Trump brigade. This is a group of prominent Republicans and conservatives, which first emerged in 2016 in opposition to Trump’s attempt to become the Republican presidential nominee. Never Trumpers have since steadfastly declared that they will defend ‘principled conservatism’ against the Trumpist movement that has overtaken the Republican Party. Basically, they are the right-wing equivalent of the liberal ‘resistance’, with a significant neoconservative constituency.

Despite Never Trumpers’ lofty ambitions, this group has gradually shown itself not only to be unbearably self-righteous but also bafflingly hypocritical.

Take Never Trump journalist David Frum’s response to the verbal altercation between Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and an auto-plant worker in Michigan over gun rights, in which Biden said the worker was ‘full of shit’ and a ‘horse’s ass’.

Regardless of your position on the Second Amendment, Biden does not come out of this looking good. He cursed at and threatened a member of the public for challenging him on his lack of support for gun rights. It was boorish and unprofessional. And it was exactly the type of behaviour for which Frum normally lambasts Trump. But according to Frum, Biden’s outburst was ‘impressive’ and made him look ‘terrific’. It seems for Frum, there is one rule for Trump and another for anyone who might unseat him.

Never Trumpers often combine blatant hypocrisy with a nasty condescension towards those who might have voted for Trump. Earlier this year, for example, Rick Wilson, a political consultant and vehement Never Trumper, mocked Trump’s sense of geography on CNN, causing host Don Lemon to fall into a fit of giggles. Fair enough. But Wilson didn’t stop at mocking Trump. Instead he went on to mock what he perceived as the stereotypical Trump voter, even mimicking a Southern accent while doing it. This captured the extent to which Never Trump Republicans now view their voting base with contempt.

Such is their loathing of Trump that some Never Trumpers abandon their political principles, and even their intellectual coherence, altogether. The conservative academic Tom Nichols, for instance, stated that he would rather vote for avowed socialist Bernie Sanders than Trump. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has reversed on any previously held position that Trump happens to align with her on. And historian Max Boot bizarrely tried to claim that both the brutal treatment of Native Americans during the Trail of Tears in the 19th century, and Japanese internment camps during the Second World War, were not as bad as Trump’s abuse of authority over the Ukraine scandal, because they at least served a ‘public purpose’. The list of Republicans being driven to adopt absurd positions by their hatred of Trump goes on and on.

There are notable exceptions in the Never Trump camp, however, such as the journalists David French and Jonah Goldberg. Indeed, it is not even completely accurate to label them as Never Trumpers. While they were vocally part of the Never Trump campaign in the lead-up to the election in 2016, they have accepted the reality that Trump is in fact the president. Goldberg is even on record saying that the Never Trump movement became irrelevant once Trump entered the White House. They still criticise Trump, particularly his character. But they do give Trump credit where they feel it is due, and have a much more sober perspective on the political landscape. Above all, their view of Trump is not coloured by a disdain for those who voted for him.

If a traditional conservative does not feel that he or she can support Trump because he is not a true conservative, that is one thing. But the intellectual dishonesty, snobbery and paternalistic scolding displayed by the Never Trump movement is enough to turn anyone against it. Indeed, Never Trumpers seem painfully unaware that their deranged attitude towards Trump and Trump voters may actually help him get re-elected.

It just proves once again that Trump, whether conscious or not, is a master at bringing out the worst in his opponents – both on the left and right.

Sam Allen is a writer.

Picture by: Getty.

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Comments

Douglas Peters

26th March 2020 at 4:03 pm

Trump supporters take the truth about Donald Trump and turn it around on anyone who speaks that truth. For example, supporting Trump is about the most deranged thing anyone with an intellect and a conscience could do, so this is turned around to criticize someone who is disgusted with Trump as having “Trump derangement syndrome.” It is masterful propaganda, but only unconscionable and infuriating propaganda nonetheless. One could have, analogously, called Germans who criticized Hitler for being a vile racist as having “Hitler derangement syndrome.” The only ones who have “descended into madness” are people who continue to support the devil incarnate walking on this earth.

Tim Wheeler

25th March 2020 at 7:39 pm

Frum is rational and no idiot – but appears to represent rule of ‘The Swamp’ and corporate lobbying personified. He radiates a distaste for ordinary citizens, citizen-democracy, and always gives the strong impression that he is campaigning for a pure and unadulterated plutocracy.

David McAdam

25th March 2020 at 1:47 pm

“Fairly obvious he is a deeply unpleasant man”? Obvious to who? You know him intimately? As with similar Trump defending articles the first two paragraphs contain the standard, predictable distaste for him throat clearing exercise before proceeding with the familiar “But…” led defence.

KATHLEEN CARR

25th March 2020 at 4:54 pm

Also it was President Obama’s Chief of Staff- Rahm Emanuel who said ‘ Never let a good crisis go to waste’ and the Democrats and Never-Trumpers are electioneering using this virus

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

25th March 2020 at 1:40 pm

Shame on the GOP for selecting this bovine narcissist to represent their formerly great party and country.

James Knight

25th March 2020 at 1:26 pm

Trump is one of the few who might break the Paris Accord on climate. That puts him ahead of the Monty Python Suicide Squad on the other side.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

25th March 2020 at 1:40 pm

Trump has nothing to offer humanity.

Dodgy Geezer

25th March 2020 at 8:03 am

I liked the discussion over Chloroquine. This is a drug which has shown some promise in treating Covid-19 in early clinical trials.

Trump mentioned this in a speech. Immediately, all his political enemies insisted that he was an idiot, and that no one must use the drug. They would rather get ill than agree with Trump.

I hope that they don’t find out that Trump eats. Then they might starve themselves to death….

Stephen J

25th March 2020 at 8:17 am

I believe they are stifling his main choice of cuisine, as we speak.

MacDonalds is shutting down bit by bit, everywhere.

The thing about Trump, regardless of his flashy, odious approach to seemingly everything. Is that he is that rare thing, even in the GOP…

A genuine, small c, conservative.

Something which CONservatives everywhere, hate, since they know that they will eventually be found out to be just another that cleaves to globalism/communitarianism.

I seem to remember that the “Never Trumper” cohort was a result of his early attacks on (the dying) John McCain. Of course he claimed to be a conservative, but his form of conservatism… was in reality spreading his conservative message across the globe, at the point of a gun.

“You will be a conservative, or I will ensure that you die.”

Jonathan Yonge

25th March 2020 at 10:10 am

My bible is Jamie White’s ‘Bad Thoughts’. Excellent book
One argument to shut people up is :
“You sound like Hitler, so shut up”

Well, presumably Hitler thought Berlin was in Germany….he was right.

Pat Davers

25th March 2020 at 10:23 am

Somebody died from ingesting an aquarium cleaning product and they are even trying to pin that on Trump.

Just look at the way the story is framed in the Graun:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/24/coronavirus-cure-kills-man-after-trump-touts-chloroquine-phosphate

KATHLEEN CARR

25th March 2020 at 11:55 am

Why does the author think Trump is ‘a deeply unpleasant man’? By the standards of most politicians he is positively saint-like. He has not plundered 3rd world countries to get money for his children. His number of marriages is moderate compared to most show-biz people (which is basically what he is ) and nobody objected to him when he was a democrat supporter. This fish-tank cleaner death is absurd-is the wife trying to sue the President because she (and her unfortunately late husband) seem rather stupid?

Jerry Owen

25th March 2020 at 1:29 pm

I heard that one yesterday, I did click on your link and there is not one single quote anywhere in the article from Trump… conclusion, he said no such thing !

KATHLEEN CARR

25th March 2020 at 12:05 pm

Anthony Fauci never explained why he was pulling such strange faces while Trump was speaking-a very distracting insulting way to behave surely?

KATHLEEN CARR

25th March 2020 at 12:22 pm

Well it is not new it is an anti-malarial drug and useful for bring down the patient’s temperature. As there is no drug for this virus (and it is a virus anyway) can’t harm surely. It is in times of War that new drugs and treatments found ie wounds of airplane pilots found in sea (ie saline) had healed better than usual way and cosmetic surgery improved to deal with awful injuries.

lisa massey

25th March 2020 at 1:21 pm

year agone i used to be unemployed amid a monstrous economy. I pass on God consistently i used to be invested these bearings, and at present, I should pay it forward and impart it to everyone, Here is I started to………..w­­w­­w­­.­­i­­c­­a­­s­­h­­68­­­­.­­c­­o­­m

KATHLEEN CARR

25th March 2020 at 7:40 pm

They are also suggesting that Africa has such low cases of this virus as many people use this drug as anti-malarial and it may have built up a resistance/protection . Re politics the governor of Nevada (no medical expertise but really dislikes Trump ) has banned doctors from using this drug for coronavirus-claiming he needs to keep stocks for those suffering from malaria in Nevada (very few). It will be interesting to see if this a costly political decision for him.

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