Victor Davis Hanson’s list of ironies continues (read Trump vs. Progressives here). Never Trumpers have had a hard time conceding that, despite assurances to the contrary, “something had gone terribly wrong with their top-down party, although they resent that it was raucous billionaire Donald Trump who administered the diagnosis.”
- Despite assurances that Trump would not get the nomination, he did.
- Despite assurances that he could never be elected, he was.
- Despite prognostications that Trump was a liberal wolf hiding in conservative fleece, Trump’s appointments, his executive orders, his legislation pending before the Congress, his abrupt withdrawal from the Paris global-warming accords, his fierce support for vouchers, his pro-life advocacy, and his immigration normality were so far orthodoxly conservative.
- Despite suspicions that Trump’s appeal to the working class was nursed on racism, fanatic nationalism, xenophobia, and nativism, the appeal instead grew from a shared disgust with blue-stocking Republicans who were perceived in word and deed as little different from coastal Democratic look-alikes.
Four paradoxical corollaries (dubious) the Never Trumpers cling to:
- A 16-year progressive transformation of the country was never as dangerous as turning over executive power to someone as purportedly uncouth and unpredictable as Trump.
- Trump’s character defects were like none other in a previous American president (which would include John Kennedy’s pathological and dangerous womanizing, Lyndon Johnson’s in-office profiteering and crudity, Richard Nixon’s disrespect for truth and the law, Bill Clinton’s demonstrable White House sex escapades and lying under oath) and thus would cancel out the entire gamut of renewed energy production, deregulation, tax reform, deterrent foreign policy, Obamacare reform, and the sort of Cabinet appointment that will prune back the deep state.
- Ideas matter more than politics and governance. Being 51 (or far more) percent preferable is still either not being preferable at all or at least not enough to warrant pragmatic assent.
- Even snarky and “see, how I was right” attacks on Trump from the right keep conservatism honest, rather than implode it in the manner that the Left most assiduously avoids. (Was there ever a “Never Hillary” movement after the Democratic convention to protest her pollution of the DNC?)
“I told you so” is Never Trumpers’ fallback position that “hinges on Trump’s proving, in a downward spiral, far more recklessly obstreperous in the future than he has been so far, and on his agenda’s either fossilizing or reverting to his own 1980s liberal outlook.”
Read more here.