One of the most ridiculous bleatings of NeverTrump for the past three-plus years is how their deeply held principles and religious convictions prevented them from not only voting for Donald Trump, but made them support every stupid Russia Hoax story or Ukraine conspiracy theory that came down the pike and shamelessly repeat any negative story about President Trump, his family, and his administration.
I’m not sure how many people really believed this…and I sort of feel sorry for those that actually did, because it reveals a character defect that allowed them to make partisan politics their God…but it became obvious within a few weeks of Trump’s inauguration that the only real principles involved were some Kristol-esque grift-in-the-making. The contributor chairs at CNN and MSNBC are stuffed with the overly ample asses of people who claimed to oppose Trump based on deeply held principles. Websites and publications have been started…conferences are about to be held…bemoaning the fate of highly principled people who just can’t countenance either Trump or his unwashed and uneducated supporters because to do so would be to betray everything they hold holy.
Now, with Bernie Sanders leading the Democrat pack, these same principled people are aghast. Some are threatening to sit out the election. Others are claiming that they will be forced to vote for Trump. All of this simply reveals what the rest of us already knew. These people did not oppose Trump based on principle. They opposed him because either their access to the trough and teat of government and RNC money was upended by his election or because they saw a business niche in being a True-Conservative-Who-Opposes-Trump. Or both.
Principles are principles. They are eternal and immutable. Otherwise, they are opinions or an aesthetic preference. Bernie Sanders’s policies are, objectively, the same as virtually all the other Democrats. He likes killing babies. He’s totally in love with the idea of controlling your healthcare options. He thinks you don’t pay enough taxes. Like Warren, Sanders is in favor of confiscating wealth. At least Sanders has not come out in favor, as have Biden and Warren, of allowing male prisoners to be incarcerated with females on the grounds that they identify as women and he has not supported the federal government paying for sex-change operations for prisoners. If anything, Sanders is actually more conservative in many respects than is Warren. Sure, Sanders has supported some pretty brutal socialist regimes in the past, but he’s disavowed those positions, or at least given nuance to those positions that could be taken for disavowal, and, in a world governed by closely held principles and a claim to overweening Christian righteousness surely repentance counts. Sure he has the air of Bolshevik constantly on the lookout for a convenient wall to put the kulaks and bourgeoisie up against, but that is an appearance not a matter of principle.
In short, nothing has changed about President Trump in the last four years. If their principles were so offended by the man in 2016…or in 2019…that they have been compelled to relentlessly demagogue against the man, they must, by definition, remain offended today. And if their entire political life revolved around removing Trump from office based on those principles, then there is no logical or principled reason to cease that opposition based on a Sanders candidacy. The principles that they preened about for the past four years should still demand that Donald Trump be removed from office by anyone because Trump has not changed.
This brings us to the inevitable conclusion that the whole NeverTrump phenomenon was nothing more than equal parts scam/marketing gimmick and class bigotry. An outsider candidate was not likely to employ the same inept mercenaries, like Steve Schmidt and George Conway and Rick Wilson, as would an establishment approved candidate. To make up for not getting a Schedule C appointment or RNC consulting contract, these people needed another grift to make ends meet and becoming a NeverTrump media figure was the silver bullet. A candidate who consorted with folks who shopped at Walmart and went to NASCAR races and actually believed in the greatness of America was simply more than their refined sensibilities could deal with. Their eleventh-hour conversion is nothing more than a fear that a Sanders candidacy is going to hurt their business model because they will have to defend a guy who stood in solidarity with the Iranian radicals who took over the US embassy in Tehran and held Americans hostage for 444 days. And they know that their defense of Sanders will make them pariahs across the GOP and it will not bring them employment by the Democrats, should they win, or by the media, because there is no market whatsoever for a NeverTrump Republican to criticize a Democrat candidate.
If they hadn’t been so obnoxious and pretentious one could almost feel sorry for them. Al-freakin-most.