My colleague Dan McLaughlin has a fine article from earlier today about how the very people who have propped up Trump for months are already preparing for the backlash for when he suffers an inevitable landslide loss in November. Rather than blaming themselves for foisting a crappy candidate upon a clearly unwilling party, they have instead chosen, bizarrely, to blame people who have clearly declared from day one that they would not vote for Trump, not even against Hillary Clinton.
The only reason I can figure that they are pursuing this insane tack is that they are puzzled to find people who behave in a manner that is different from that of their man-god Donald Trump. See, Trump says all sorts of crazy things all the time and then takes them back later when he realizes they are untenable; whether his signature promise to deport 11 million illegal immigrants or his promise to pay off the national debt in 8 years.
Trump supporters are perfectly used to people just saying random crap for the dramatic effect and then walking it back later. In fact, they view it as a feature, not a bug. They view it as evidence of Trump’s supreme cunning and political skill. They think everyone should behave this way. So they find it confusing and disorienting that people who promised months ago that they would never Trump apparently still mean it, and will still mean it six months from now in November. It’s actually infuriating to them, the idea of intellectual honesty.
Sure, there has always been a subset of people who have promised to not vote for [Person X] if he or she were the Republican nominee. However, only a willfully blind idiot could have failed to notice that the groundswell of rejection of Trump was completely different in kind and character than the rejection of previous liberal Republican nominees. As but one indicator, the history of this site is a matter of well-documented public record. As much as we worked against both John McCain and Mitt Romney (to varying degrees) in the last two election cycles, no front page contributor to this site ever promised not to vote for either as the nominee.
Furthermore, the evidence that mainstream Republican rejection of Trump was far more widespread than ever has been publicly available for months, culminating in the revelation earlier this week that fully 40% of Republicans plan to not vote for Trump in November, and an astounding 20% plan to actually vote for Hillary Clinton.
These are things that RedState and other sites have been saying and promising from day one. If anyone is surprised to find that it is still true in April, that fault is theirs, not ours. One of the specific things people should have taken account as a real phenomenon from day one is the notion that Trump would face significant and unprecedented general election defections from within the ranks of the GOP faithful, and that this might well impact his (already slim) chances of winning in November.
In fact, Trump’s online supporters have pooh poohed this as a reality since the #NeverTrump movement began. They made two bold predictions as to why this would not matter. First, they predicted that #NeverTrump would fold once Trump became the actual nominee and started running against Hillary. Second, they predicted that any Republican votes Trump lost, he would make up from the ranks of disaffected Democrats. No sweat, they said. Everything will be fine.
If those two predictions turn out to be wrong (and they will), blame the people who made them. Blame the people who assumed that #NeverTrump were liars; don’t blame #NeverTrump for telling the truth.
People like Trump, Reince Priebus, Sean Hannity and all the writers at Breitbart operate from the erroneous assumption that Republican voters owe the Republican nominee their vote regardless of what he or she says, does, or believes, and that failing to give this owed vote is some sort of moral failing. This is frankly an undemocratic notion and is insulting to the very concept of free will, not to mention responsible citizenry.
I never signed a loyalty oath to the GOP or to Donald Trump, and I don’t owe anyone my vote. I’m a free citizen with a brain and I will vote according to my own independent judgment of who would be the best candidate. That’s exactly how voting is supposed to work, the end.
Maybe it’s somehow obvious to Trump supporters that he would be a better President than Hillary; to me, the exact opposite is perfectly obvious. Trump’s ideas on the economy are no less insane than Hillary’s, his foreign policy is a good deal more clueless, he is much less suited to the job by temperament, and he has repeatedly demonstrated appalling judgment in his hiring decisions (which is probably the most important quality that a President can have). Moreover, Trump’s intentional division of America and his open stoking of age-old and unworthy prejudices are enough alone to cause me to believe that not only does he not deserve my vote, he deserves to lose – and by the largest margin possible.
Hillary as President would continue the slow decline of America; Trump as President would present an instant threat to the health and safety of the Republic. Neither are good choices, but I have kids who have to live here, and so the choice is not a difficult one. Under no circumstances could I look myself in the mirror in the morning if I actually cast a ballot to put Donald J. Trump in charge of a sizeable nuclear arsenal. The only choice I will have to make is whether I will vote for a third party candidate, not vote at all, or vote for Hillary. And as a fully functional adult, I can’t be peer pressured into believing otherwise.
You people who supported and promised victory for Trump in the general made this bed, and the whole time people like me were there saying that if Trump was the GOP nominee, we would oppose him in the general. You promised his gullible supporters that wouldn’t matter. Now it’s time to deliver on that promise, if you can. If you can’t, it’s your fault, not ours.