When Donald Trump announced he was running for president last June, we who knew all along it was a bad idea prayed it was a joke. He was not (and still isn’t) a conservative, and quickly showed that his support was celebrity-style superficial. In short, he has been an (R) version of Obama. Many believed he wouldn’t be in the game for long.
Now we’re faced with Trump as the presumptive GOP nominee. It’s clear that we underestimated the pro-Trump movement, which is fueled by misdirected anger. But now they are underestimating those of us who vow to never vote for Trump.
With this reality before us, the sermon from his supporters is now “get in line!” and “get on board and shut up!”. We’re constantly told that not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary. Since I intend to vote for neither, let me know how that works. #NeverTrump does not translate into #ImWithHer. We’re not the ones set to deliver a non-conservative political hack to the nomination stage at the GOP convention. We had plenty of experienced conservatives as viable options this cycle, but they were discarded in favor of orange flash. Hillary Clinton’s projected victory in the fall is on the shoulders of those who have supported Trump all along. I will bear no guilt for placing principle above party.
If you’re unaware, Donald Trump’s win in Indiana changes nothing about the diehard #NeverTrump movement. Our resolve is the same. In fact, our anger has increased since witnessing Ted Cruz being pushed out to make way for a campaign vowing to “Make America Great Again”. Buck Sexton described the movement at CNN:
For a sub-section of the base — the self-described “Never Trump” movement — there is only one certainty that remains: under no circumstances will they vote for the New York businessman. As conservatives who value principle over party — even at the risk of handing the White House to the opposing party — many of them have publicly taken an oath against Trump. From pundits to private citizens, there is a sizable contingent of the GOP base that continues to promise that they will not, no matter what the cost, pull the lever for Trump.
“Never” actually means never. We refuse to connect conservatism to that which is not by casting a vote in support of Trump. We are focused on maintaining purity of principle, regardless of the outcome.
We know where Hillary stands on the issues, but Trump is even more dangerous since we have no idea what he would do once in office. His flip-flopping just in the past 11 months should set people on edge. Supporters of his can’t give policy specifics because Trump himself doesn’t! They mistakenly put faith in a candidate who has been in his own reality show all along.
My desire to not see Trump in the White House is coupled with a desire to punish his supporters by not supporting their man. That’s the measure of my resolve as a member of the #NeverTrump movement. He has absolutely hijacked this election cycle, which once showed promise.
With a Hillary v Trump reality come November, our only outcome will be pain. I refuse to be involved in causing the pain by actively supporting either. Instead, my hope is that going through this pain will teach a lesson to those who now underestimate us.