One could perhaps have excused them their earlier indiscretions of November 2016.
He was, after all, an unknown quantity, an outsider of questionable conservative pedigree. Indeed, Donald Trump had been a fairly typical New York liberal Democrat for much of his life. And he had led a less-than-stellar moral life.
So the pile-on at the time by National Review and others could perhaps have been forgiven — although not really, when one considered the alternative.
As I wrote at the time:
“Do we not grow weary of the sanctimonious ones? The Never Trumpers who endlessly hector and scold, and hold themselves up as paragons of moral virtue? They display their good taste by showing contempt for Trump and his supporters. Some of them claim they will vote down ballot, skipping the presidential slot, or vote for Evan what’s his name (McMullin). Some will write in a candidate or go libertarian, neither of whom will have any chance of winning. Other pious Republicans will even cast their vote for Hillary.”
But how much more compelling is the argument today, six years later, in light of the horrendous behavior of the left, its naked will to power and demonic “rule or ruin” ethos? And what of Trump, his incredible and unexpected victory in 2016, and then his very favorable performance as president and conservative standard-bearer?
What accounts for the odd and self-immolating behavior of the Never Trump crowd, most if not all of them former card-carrying members of the right?
Never Trumpers go under many labels, including globalists, neo-cons, “moderate” Republicans, RINOs, Democrat lites, Davos types (the “Daveoisie”), and the “GOP establishment.” Some of its better-known members include William Kristol, Mona Charen, the Koch brothers, John Podhoretz, Jeff Flake, Steve Schmidt, the Bushes, Peggy Noonan, George Will, Bret Stephens, Jonah Goldberg, Mitt Romney, John Kasich, David Frum, Gabriel Schoenfeld, Rick Wilson, David French, Max Boot and others.
Many Never Trumpers, furthermore, are of Jewish persuasion, as I am, and supporters of Israel, as I also am. One would have thought that actions taken by Trump, our modern-day Cyrus and defender of the Jews, would have persuaded them.
Perhaps it is that many of them, along with their liberal associates, are part of what Angelo Codevilla describes as the “ruling class.” These are individuals in higher-level positions in government, academia, the media, think tanks, non-government organizations, unions, non-profits, corporations and the courts. They comprise an extra-constitutional elite system, operating outside of the usual democratic mechanisms, that in effect runs the country.
The ruling class believe themselves of superior cultural, moral and intellectual temperament; they view with disdain the unwashed living in the vast swaths between the coasts over whom they feel entitled to rule. Although superficially embracing democracy, they prefer government by experts or, as it may occur, judges, and reject the elected branches, unless, of course, they deliver the proper outcome. They are, in other words, “progressives.”
Ruling class elites place great faith in the “New World Order,” globalism and world government. International bodies such as the European Union, the United Nations and NATO are highly favored and critical to their vision of the world. They abhor primitive, “tribal” notions of nationhood such as love of country and national sovereignty. Appalled by “Brexit” and efforts by Trump to build a wall, they embrace open immigration and amnesty while spurning borders. Some advocate policies that can loosely be described as “invade the world, invite the world.”
They support “criminal justice reform,” single-payer health care, and the Paris climate accord and maintain that Europe is better than America. Many are not particularly fond of religion, in particular Christianity. They are socially liberal even when fiscally conservative. The Second Amendment repulses them.
It is a single class that includes Democrats and Republicans, but not exactly. Democrats are the ranking members and Republicans are subordinate. Democrats enjoy prestige and power. Their media organs are dominant; they have cultural gravitas. Republicans do not. They seek acceptance and recognition, but know that they serve at the pleasure of their liberal superiors.
Republican ruling class members seek to preserve their lucrative media presence, affirmative pats on the head from leftist betters, and, of course, dinner invitations from liberal friends. They do this by promoting certain foundational policies beloved by the left (particularly on immigration). In this era, however, they have found a far better meal ticket to ensure continued membership in this exclusive club: denouncing Trump and everything he stands for, including those who voted for him.
Republican country clubbers recognize that Trump is in effect a giant middle finger from the “deplorables” to them and their liberal cocktail lounge comrades. Indeed, it was the failure of Republicans to enact policies that they fundraise and campaign on every election cycle (defending our borders, ending Obamacare, law and order) that drove voters to the outsider, anti-establishment Trump in the first place.
It is from the ranks of the second tier of the ruling class, of the cowering, pseudo-right aristocracy, that many if not most Never Trumpers arise.
“The so-called conservative, holier-than-thou Never Trump crowd cannot abide supporting Trump, or even keep from insulting him and his many followers in the most vicious ways. … Although an imperfect candidate, Trump was the only one who could have prevented a 16-year Obama-Clinton continuum that would have altered the nation irreversibly. The moral and principled choice was to stop Clinton [and then Joe Biden] by embracing Trump. By failing to do so, Republican Never Trumpers betray the nation and the conservative cause they claim to be a part of, and place themselves alongside the vile leftists who actively seek to destroy the country.”
We have long been burdened by what Lenin described as “useful idiots,” referring to leftist intellectuals in the West sympathetic to Marxist socialism despite its abysmal failures and atrocities. Now we have our useful idiots on the pseudo-right in the form of the Never Trumpers.
These pearl-clutchers and malcontents, closet socialists and soft progressives, are every bit as despicable as the leftists they once decried. They cover themselves in shame.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.