Opinion

The Tortured Logic Of The #NeverTrumpers

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As the election season enters the proverbial fourth quarter, the race is a toss-up. Polls show Trump and Clinton virtually tied or else one or the other leading by a small percentage, within the margin of error. This might be a good time for the Republican Party to unify around their candidate. Victory is within their grasp. Yet many of the #NeverTrump brigade continue to passively sulk and pout, or else actively throw rocks at the Trump express hoping for a spectacular derailment.

To what end? This is a binary election, like a true or false question. Only one answer is correct. This is not an essay question calling for a review of principles followed by a reasoned position statement supported by both logic and fact. The choice is Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Third party candidates are simply whimsical excursions, avoiding the ultimate choice between the only two real candidates.

#NeverTrumpers sit comfortably atop their high horses wrapped in their morality cloaks, pontificating about “voting your conscience.” They are the “true conservatives” they remind us from the panels of Fox News or the pages of National Review and The Weekly Standard. They don’t want a Clinton presidency, so they say, but at the same time won’t support the only method of preventing that outcome.

What is the thought process of a #NeverTrumper? Those who call themselves rock solid conservatives, of the Ronald Reagan variety. The Claremont Institute published a lengthy analysis and answer in an article entitled “The Flight 93 Election.” Yet it’s even simpler.

The question they need to ask themselves is whether America is heading in the right or wrong direction. Simple question. Is America becoming Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” or Sauron’s Mordor? American voters, by a 65 to 28 percent difference think America is heading in the Mordor direction.

If the #NeverTrumpers, living in gated communities with children safely ensconced in private schools, far from the orcs and goblins plaguing the rest of the country, believe the past eight years have pushed us ever closer to being the “shining city on a hill” and that another four or eight years of Hillary Clinton will complete the journey, then of course they don’t want a Trump presidency. Why upset the apple cart?

Conversely if they don’t like the direction of America, how do they propose changing course? How about a Republican Congress to stop or reverse the Obama agenda? Been there and done that. Not only has a GOP controlled Congress failed to stop Obama, they are paving the way for his agenda. Congressional leaders have laid down their only weapons under constitutional checks and balances, namely impeachment and the power of the purse. Instead Congress points its weapons at Trump, threatening to stand up to him — a far cry from their behavior with Obama, whom they never actually managed to meaningfully defy.

Do the #NeverTrump conservatives actually believe in conservatism as a political philosophy and governing doctrine? If they do, they should be fighting for it tooth and nail. But they aren’t. They say they are against liberalism, but show me the evidence. Criticizing Obama or Clinton from behind a TV camera or through the words of Washington Post column accomplish little when they throw up the white flag of surrender in the face of a real battle. Which is what this election is.

Opposing Trump leads to Madame President and a continuation of the policies the #NeverTrumpers say they dislike. That’s like a kid not wanting to take the medicine necessary to make them feel better because they don’t like the taste of the medicine. That’s OK for a kid’s logic, but not for the conservative intelligentsia.

Will America, sinking like the Titanic, suddenly right itself and keep steaming across the ocean? Or is this perhaps the last chance to repair at least some of the damage?

A Clinton presidency will legalize tens of millions of illegal immigrants already here, and however many more arrive in the future. Who will stop her? John McCain and Paul Ryan will be cheering her along. A simple executive order will give these new immigrants the right to vote, upheld by a liberal majority Supreme Court once Mrs. Clinton fills the Scalia vacancy. Any guess how these new immigrants, unassimilated and unversed in American culture and tradition, will vote? Voila, a permanent electoral majority for the Democrat party. Bigger and more intrusive government, less freedom and liberty, everything the #NeverTrumpers are supposedly against.

But their tortured logic suggests otherwise. They believe they are doing the right thing by refusing to step on the brakes of American destruction. Following their conscience by not voting for the brash and boorish Donald Trump. As long as they have a spot at the trough of government largess their lives will be fine. Not so much for everyone else.

Are the conservative principles of #NeverTrumpers for show only or are they worth fighting for? Are their beliefs only for think tanks and op-ed pages rather than actually enacting and implementing?

Donald Trump solidly defeated 16 smart and accomplished primary candidates. He has solidly conservative positions on trade, immigration and foreign military entanglements. He talks back to a left-wing media hell bent on his destruction. How many other Republicans bring this package to the electoral table?

I happened upon a few minutes of Glenn Beck’s radio show this week. He spoke of being unwilling to “roll the dice” on a Trump presidency. Really? Rolling the dice on Clinton means any number between two and twelve loses. Rolling the dice on Trump means a seven or eleven loses, but everything else wins. Beck doesn’t like those odds but I sure do, especially with the future of the country on the line.

The #NeverTrumpers work for his defeat and more of the status quo. They think the next election will be their redemption. Good luck with another 10 or 20 million new Democrat voters, strategically located in swing states. Either they are happy with the direction of the country or their so-called principles are only for show. Through their tortured logic, it’s difficult to conclude otherwise. Which is it?

Brian C. Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver-based retina surgeon, radio personality, and writer. Follow him on Facebook  and Twitter.