Donald Drumpf continues to roll on, winning 7 more states on Super Tuesday. Yet concurrent with his success at the polls, there is a growing #NeverTrump movement that declares that it will never vote for Trump under any circumstances (a movement of which I’m proud to say I am a pioneering member).
What is amazing about the #NeverTrump movement is that it includes many members of Trump’s own party. Never before has there been such visceral hatred within a party for that party’s frontrunner.
Where I think many make a mistake, however, is in assuming the #NeverTrump movement is homogenous, and every member has similar motivations for rejecting Trump. In fact, it is made up of three quite diverse groups, which are the pillars of #NeverTrump:
These are the people who would almost definitely vote for Hillary in November anyway, so they don’t really matter as a political force. They mostly see Trump as a representative of the racist, sexist, homophobic hicks who make up flyover country. Although they are right about the dangers of Trump, as usual they are wrong both why he is dangerous and what would be a better solution. John Oliver, a pretty standard-fare liberal, did a great job, however, of eviscerating Trump on his show this past Sunday:
The group that created Trump by their corruption and incompetence are scared to death. Can it really be true that Trump could be the representative of the GOP in November? Yes, it can be. After taking him as a joke, the Establishment now realizes they are in deep trouble. Yet of course, as has been their pattern for years, they will most likely respond by wanting to become even more establishment; for example, by trying to exhume Mitt Romney’s corpse (what, he isn’t dead?) to be their (failed) candidate in 2016.
Although the Establishment is voicing opposition now, I can easily see them embracing Trump if he wins the nomination. After all, for them it is only about power, not principle, and who better represents that maxim than Donald J. Trump? This is the weakest pillar of the #NeverTrump movement, and I can see it falling in the coming months.
This is the group that is most forgotten in the #NeverTrump movement. Just because principled conservatives hate the Establishment with a passion that rivals any Trumpster’s doesn’t mean they embrace Trump, or refuse to reject him just because the Establishment does as well. They are mostly angry at the same things the Trumpsters are angry about, but they recognize that Trump isn’t the solution, but a magnification of the problem. He is the epitome of an unprincipled, big-government, crony-capitalist, socially-liberal, lying elite. The great irony of this election campaign is that Trump is attracting the very people who who should be repelled by him.
It is this pillar which is both the most solid and the most important.The liberals were never going to vote for the Republican anyway, so their anti-Trumpism is irrelevant (and in fact, their opposition only emboldens the Trumpsters’ resolve). Many Establishment Republicans will likely bolt to Trump once his nomination is assured. But the principled conservatives are adamant that they will never, ever, ever vote for Trump, and by doing so, they may very well give the Presidency to the icon of their hatred over the past 25 years, Hillary Clinton.
But give Trump credit. At least for now, he’s managed to be a unifying force in our country, bringing together a diverse coalition that is united in the conviction that #NeverTrump.