On this slowest of slow days we have a pointer to an enjoyable essay on the death of Never Trumpism by Emerald Robinson.
The Never Trumpers have self-exiled. If not converted. Those in exile still pine for a return to the Old Ways, in which they were loyal opposition, feted and consulted as the important people they knew themselves to be.
Robinson asks, “What was your favorite blunder, or blown prediction, which marked their ignominious end?” Hers was “when Bill Kristol, longtime editor of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard, showed up in New Hampshire telling people he would run against President Trump in 2020.”
Mine was when National Review put out their “Never Trump” edition. That proved what we had long suspected. That there was no difference between Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives. The real divisions are between progressives and traditionalists, fantasists and realists, man worshipers and God worshipers.
The linked essay is by a NRO neocon who said “Many conservatives who oppose Trump have felt it morally imperative to declare that they will never vote for him, even if he wins the Republican nomination. They will vote instead for Hillary Clinton, or for a third-party candidate, or a write-in candidate, or no one at all.” This happened. But we recall that there is no difference between liberals and conservatives, and so it didn’t matter. Those of us on the other side of the Democratrepublican divide knew Michael Anton was right in his “The Flight 93 election,” which Robinson cites.
And now the “Never Trump intellectual crowd has no momentum and no popular following these days.” Robinson says, and we agree, though she still writes of a liberal-conservative divide, “it now seems self-evident that conservative pundits were preposterously out of touch.”
This myopia has several causes. The first is a kind of cultural “capture” that occurs when conservatives live in blue districts and big cities too long. They become, in other words, clueless (RINOS). The second reason is more obvious: many of these people are paid to be openly hostile to Trump’s agenda. The free trade absolutists at AEI and Cato are on salary to oppose any protectionist trade policies. Likewise, hawkish interventionists such as Max Boot knew they had no professional future once Trump’s isolationist instincts became policy.
Then comes her keenest observation:
The greatest disconnect is religious and cultural: the Republican Party is overwhelmingly Caucasian and Christian and traditional on social issues, while its pundits skew Jewish and agnostic and libertarian. Krauthammer wanted to have it both ways, which is not unlike the hedging that Brooks and Goldberg have displayed. George Will went so far as to say: “I’m an atheist. An agnostic is someone who is not sure. I’m pretty sure. I see no evidence of God.” Meanwhile, Gerson is a liberal Episcopalian who took to the pages of the Atlantic to attack evangelicals for supporting Trump. In sum, the conservative intellectuals didn’t understand the base’s concerns about religious liberty because they hardly cared for religion — which should have disqualified them long ago.
As Robinson rightly says of these people, they are “heretics who claim to be spokesmen for the Christian base.” Surprising, is it not, the number of Christians who put their trust and faith in those who did not believe Jesus Christ is Lord.
Not one of them every said that everybody ought to find God as soon as they can. Because the end draws near. Maybe not the end. But your end.
Comments to the article are worth scanning. People are not fond of Never Trumpers.