To many, the #NeverTrump movement died on election night along with Hillary Clinton’s presidential dreams.
As we exit the immediate aftermath of November 8, it’s clear that Hillary’s shot at breaking that ultimate glass ceiling has been laid to rest forever. This was her year. She was tasked with beating a candidate considered a long shot by a significant portion of the electorate. She had name recognition and frequently played the gender card. The election was hers to lose, and she did.
Also considered among the deceased on election night was that principled movement called #NeverTrump. I was a member from day one and still happily claim it. But as of right now, the NT ideology should be placed on the backburner and left simmering until further notice.
“Why should it be removed from a place of prominence?” Simple. Our next president has been decided, and he is Donald Trump.
“Shouldn’t the movement be left to wither away?” No. Because our next president is Donald Trump.
Only a portion of the #NeverTrump mindset had to do with refusing to support him on election day. That was never all of it. Not by any means. It also had nothing to do with positive qualities of his opponent, since she lacked them entirely. The substance of the movement was a declaration against Trump. He lacks decency, substance, coherency on the issues, and a history of conservatism. He rode into power on anger that embraced the loudest and most shocking as the best hope for a greater America.
So far, we have no proof that campaign rhetoric will actually become reality. This goes for negative aspects of his campaign, which were overwhelming, and the positive aspects, which would appear for a brief time between waves of superficial ridicule.
Is the unknown a frightening place to be? Yes. But this is our reality. We can’t hide in our safe spaces or declare we are triggered in an attempt to escape it. Donald J. Trump was elected, and he will be our president.
As a #NeverTrumper I don’t feel defeated, as some would believe or hope to be true. Like others, my resolve to hold the President-elect accountable once he assumes office remains strong. That desire should never waver based on candidate chosen or party in power. Yes, change comes to the White House, but a president’s responsibility to the country that elected them does not. For one like Trump, who claims conservatism, he must use actions instead of just words to prove it.
I don’t believe #NeverTrump is dead; it is just dormant. Once Trump’s presidency begins, those of us who are #NeverTrump will remain cautiously optimistic. We hope he proves us wrong, but he may well not. In the latter case, the principles that prompted us to take this stand through a tumultuous election season will rekindle the movement.