In the annals of the 2016 election, there has emerged a number of Trump supporters who can be placed into different groups. Not all people who will vote for Trump are the same. There is a tendency to lump all Trump supporters together and that is a mistake. People’s motives for voting differ. I don’t find some of those arguments persuasive, particularly the notion I should only cast a vote for a candidate who has the chance to win. That said, if people are content with whatever rationale they come up with, that’s fine with me. The problem arises when those same people try to project their rationale on to others.
The hardcore Trump supporters aka ‘Trumpkins’, ‘Trumpers’, ‘Trumphumpers’, ‘Trumpbots’ etc are the worst of the lot. They are the ones who have been aboard the proverbial Trump Train since the start. They have moved into the category of cultists because they will defend anything he says. They excuse any flip-flop and they will rationalize any nonsense that spews forth from his mouth. They’re the ones with Trump banners in their Twitter profile, photos of themselves wearing ‘Make America Great Again” trucker hats and the ones who are sent into a semi-orgasmic state whenever Trump yells about Mexico paying for his “beautiful wall.”
Another group are those who got on board to support Trump because he is the GOP nominee and “stopping Hillary” is all that matters even if the Republican candidate has a record of donations and public positions that rival most northeastern liberal Democrats. I find their rationale unimpressive, but I don’t begrudge their point of view. Conservatives such as Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Kurt Schlichter and actor Nick Searcy are among this group. For the most part, there is mere disagreement between them and those who consider themselves part of the “Never Trump” faction.
The newest breed of Trump supporters are those who have said for some time they are part of “Never Trump,” but for whatever reason, have convinced themselves they need to vote for him. Their motivation is similar to that of the “resigned” Trump supporters, but are late to the game. It’s disappointing. For the longest time, they were happy to carry the banner of #NeverTrump. The key word is “never.” The word means, “at no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever” or “not at all.” Apparently for some, such as Brad Thor and most recently, radio talk show host, Mark Levin, “never” means “most likely.” In doing so, they are joining the chorus of the second group of Trump supporters who justify their decision by telling others of the horrors of a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Dennis Prager recently wrote a piece for National Review where he argues:
We differ on this: We hold that defeating Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, and the Left is also a principle. And that it is the greater principle.
Obviously, the Never Trumpers do not believe that. On the contrary, some of the most thoughtful Never Trumpers repeatedly tell us that the nation can survive four years of Hillary Clinton–Democrat rule. And then, they say, conservatism will have cleansed itself and be able to take back the nation after four calamitous years of a Hillary Clinton presidency — whereas if Trump wins, he will be the de facto face of conservatism, and then conservatism will have been dealt a potentially fatal setback.
This argument assumes that America can survive another four years of Democratic rule.
Prager’s approach is preferable to that of the Trumpkins who think bullying is the way to go. They’ll routinely call Never Trumpers, “traitors,” “cuckservatives,” or accuse them of “supporting Hillary and the left.” It’s a weak tactic used by people with weak minds who cannot make a cogent argument.
Some people will mistake what Prager writes, as an attempt to persuade. It’s not. He’s being subtle but really what he is doing (and what others like him rely on) is attempting to shame others into agreeing with him. One thing I have learned from being involved in politics for 25 years is every presidential election is the most important presidential election. How many times have you heard from either a Republican or a Democrat the words, “Our future hangs in the balance!”
The country wasn’t supposed to survive one Obama term. It wasn’t expected to survive his second term. Yet, he we are.
This country has survived a civil war and World War I. The country has also survived The Great Depression. It survived World War II and won the fight against the Nazis. And it survived The Vietnam War, Watergate and 9/11. The suggestion that I am supposed to cower in fear over the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency and should run to cast a vote for a fraud like Donald Trump, when the country has faced much worse, is absurd.
As for the the probable Hillary Clinton presidency, those of us who decided our conscience couldn’t fathom voting for Trump are not to blame. 14 million people looked at a group of candidates that included accomplished conservative governors, such as Rick Perry and Scott Walker. It included dynamic, conservative Senators such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. Even the lower echelon of candidates, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and even Chris Christie, were preferable to a reality show carnival barker. Yet, in classic adult temper tantrum form, those people chose the carnival barker. A man with zero principles, no moral backbone and a political philosophy that echoes the sounds of a whoopee cushion. They made the choice. It is their decision to live with.
People may find those of us who remain Never Trump to be distasteful. But for many of us, never means never.