Last spring, I made waves by choosing to leave the Republican Party. The direction the party had taken in the wake of its continuing support for Donald Trump’s leadership had led to a place I just couldn’t follow.
But, it seems, my actions and intentions were grossly misunderstood, both by conservatives and Republicans who continue to support the President as well as “never trump” former Republicans.
My writing and my actions have always stemmed from my understanding of conservative principles. Yes, I have often endeavored to stand athwart Trump and Trumpism yelling, “stop!” But it has been precisely because I see an important place in America’s future for conservatism.
Many disagree with me, but I see Trumpism as an aberration of conservative values. Increasingly, this view has put me at odds both with the #MAGA crowds, who see this moment as the rise of true conservatism, and the #NeverTrump crowds, who increasingly see Trumpism as the ugly undercurrent of conservatism itself.
Specific to my personal schism with my erstwhile #NeverTrump comrades, it’s become increasingly difficult to stomach the Biden boosterism so many of them have become engaged in as well as their embrace of #Resistance narratives.
Again, I left the Republican Party based on my sense of principles. I don’t see how I would be standing on principles by helping to elect a Democrat or by shooting down principled independent and third-party candidates because they threaten the Democrat.
Despite my view that Donald Trump has a crass lack of character and an unserious mind, I recognize he presents some form of contractual agreement with traditional conservative goals.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, presents nothing. The Democrats grant former Republicans who are supporting them nothing. Progressives have not only refused to moderate their vision (which created the imperial presidency in the first place) but have demonstrated every intention to double and triple down on it.
It’s my unfortunate analysis that many of those who call themselves #NeverTrump have become so deranged by their hatred of Donald Trump, they have become willing to give the country to Democrats. They have signaled a willingness to aid in delivering a historic progressive mandate on an exclusively non-contractual basis.
Yes, I have long been, “Never Trump.” I first used the hashtag #NeverTrump in 2016. I continued to do so because it meant, for me, that I would put principles first, vote my conscience, and stand for my understanding of conservative ideals win, lose, or draw.
But in recent months, I’ve discovered many of my fellow #NeverTrump travelers did not share common cause with my values as I thought they had. (In a disturbingly similar way the broader Republican Party and conservative movement no longer seems to)
So, I am no longer #NeverTrump. Not because I am going to change my mind on Donald Trump, but because the #NeverTrump movement, allegedly founded on principles, has become just as cultish in their opposition to Trump as so many in the #MAGA crowd are in support of him.
If there is no place for a viable, principled candidate in this election, then the nation faces a threat far more pressing than who sits in the White House, and the salvation of America requires far more than anything Americans can accomplish at the ballot box.
Moving forward, my goal shall be to champion and affirm the first principles of our republic, to rise above the cacophony of the cults of personality and anti-personality, and to stand athwart this political moment yelling “stop!” to everyone.
This article is expanded from a section of the May 22nd issue of From the Hawk’s Nest, a bi-weekly newsletter.
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