I have a vague vision of how this ends. In about 30 years at the nicest KardashianCare facility that yuans can buy, I’ll make a note on my ever present napkin, crumple it, toss it on a fellow ‘resident’ and expire. Although I frequently would forget my friend’s name, I never let him forget who he supported in the 2016 GOP primaries. The note will read, “Trump you.”
For NeverTrumpians, this has been a frustrating time. Jonah Goldberg captures the bittersweet realization about our once respected GOP brethren:
I sometimes think I’m living in a weird remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers…. you know the pattern. Someone you know or love goes to sleep one night and appears the next day to be the exact same person you always knew.
Except they’re different, somehow. They talk funny. They don’t care about the same things they used to. It’s almost like they became Canadian overnight — seemingly normal, but off in some way. Even once-friendly dogs start barking at them. I live in constant fear that I will run into [friends] who start telling me that Donald Trump is a serious person because he’s tapping into this or he’s willing to say that. I imagine my dog suddenly barking at them uncontrollably. (I don’t worry about this with Ramesh Ponnuru because Vulcans are immune.)
In a useful twist of fate, the recent spate of Zombie-based entertainment has taught us not to expect change based on otherwise normal human appearance. They are gone and our chances in November went with them. We know how this unfolds. Trump will not be our nominee. GOP fractured. DOJ declines to indict. FBI investigators resign. HRC wins.
Here’s the therapy inducing aspect to that already depressing scenario; it might be our best case scenario! Michael Gerson explains the whole NeverTrump thing:
For Republicans, accommodation with Trump is not just a choice; it is a verdict. None will come away unstained. For evangelical Christians, it is the stain of hypocrisy — making their movement synonymous with exclusion and gullibility. For GOP job seekers, it is the stain of opportunism. (Consider the sad decline into sycophancy of Chris Christie.) For conservatives, it is the stain of betrayal — the equivalent of supporting George Wallace in 1968 as an authentic populist voice.
All this leaves completely horrible options: sitting the election out, supporting a third-party candidate, contemplating a difficult vote for Clinton. But these are the only honorable options. As one Republican friend wrote me of Trump: “He would destroy everything Hillary Clinton would destroy, plus one more thing: the Republican Party.”
Now for the fun part. How to make the coming months more bearable? Mercilessly exploit the following fact; Trump voters can’t understand how we could possibly take a position which helps elect a Clinton. They can’t believe … wait for it …. that we would throw away our votes … wait for it … in anger.
It’s true. Adding a sense of irony to their already impressive list of deficiencies, Trump voters will try to talk you out of your NeverTrump position. My initial instinctual response was to patiently explain why I despised their candidate. Unsurprisingly, in retrospect, this was not effective.
But my 2nd option, man, my 2nd [OK maybe 3rd] option is cruel and fun, i.e. genius. From now until the city of Cleveland is burned down [how will they be able to tell?] during the convention, my position will be expressed as follows to strangers not tattooed with swastikas or confederate flags [another infamous 47% GOP reference]: “I’m leaning towards Trump, but not there yet.” Depending on the mood, a what-to-do head shake might make an appearance.
Worst case scenario
GOP nominee Trump institutes Conservatism reeducation camps during fall campaign – I take a gander as to the questions which may arise:
Q – I thought the reason we hated Bill and Hillary Clinton is that they are pathological liars. How can we now support Trump?
A – It matters who does the lying and why. If Hillary pushes babies into the path of a careening bus and Trump pushes those same babies away from the careening bus, people like you are focused on the fact that both pushed the babies. Weak. Very weak. The Clinton’s lie for evil. Trump lies to put himself in position to make ‘merica great again.
Q – Why are people concerned about the details of a candidate’s plans really just tools of the establishment?
A – See, that’s why we don’t win anymore. Everyone making plans instead of just winning. Besides, the lack of specifics keeps the opposition off balance. I know this is complicated, but stick with it. Subjugating one’s normal thought process gets easier as we empty ourselves for the greater good.
Q – For tomorrow’s quiz, will we be responsible for both the truth and revisionism?
A – Just revisionism for now
Q – Will that Eastern European chick be the First Lady?
A – [Former Trump University instructor cues video]
Ross Douthat – Why the GOP is much more than one presidential election
Bill Kristol – Decadence
WSJ Editorial being WSJ Editorial
Ben Shapiro saying no