News & Politics

The Coalition Between Never-Trumpers and Democrats Is Kaput

The Coalition Between Never-Trumpers and Democrats Is Kaput
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the National Association of Realtors' Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, U.S., May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The odd-fellow coalition between Never-Trumpers and Democrats appears to be history. It has apparently dawned on both sides that, policy-wise, they have virtually nothing in common. And as the Democratic race for president heats up, the illusions of both sides have been shattered.

Earth to Never-Trumpers: There is no Democratic presidential candidate that any self-respecting conservative — or moderate for that matter — can support.

There was a misunderstanding between the two sides: Democrats actually believed that most Never-Trumpers would rally around the nominee, whoever he/she was. Meanwhile, Never-Trumpers believed that Democrats wouldn’t be bat-guano crazy enough to nominate a radical. As it turns out, both sides were wrong.

The bitter feelings on both sides are evident:

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson chose to dish out a little liberal condescension:

Never-Trump Republicans and independents may be shocked to hear this, but the Democratic Party is likely to nominate a Democrat for president. That means they’re not going to nominate someone who thinks exactly like a Never-Trump Republican.

Break out the smelling salts. I think several refugees from the GOP, pontificating on Twitter and the nation’s leading op-ed pages, just fainted dead away.

The Bulwark’s Sarah Longwell gives a more nuanced view of what Never-Trumpers want:

I don’t speak for Frum and French and Kristol, but for my own part it’s always been clear that the eventual Democratic nominee will be someone who has little to offer most conservatives on the policy front. For Never Trumpers, such as my friend Matt Lewis, some of these Democrats’ policies—like support for late-term abortion—might be deal breakers.

But what Never Trumpers have been arguing, generally, isn’t that the Democrats should nominate someone who will make them (the Never Trumpers) happy, but that they should nominate someone who a majority of Americans in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and Florida will be happy to vote for.

Because if Never-Trump type Republicans want a candidate whose policies broadly align with their own preferences, they have one. His name is Donald J. Trump.

Never-Trumpers have been chasing their tails for two years. They have skirted the real issue of “If not Trump, who?” for far too long. If you are going to vote for president in 2020 (and some of us have chosen not to), there really is only one rational choice. I think many Never-Trumpers will eventually come to that conclusion. They may have to wear hazmat suits to enter the polling booth, but there will be many who may conclude that the danger to the republic is grave enough that voting for four more years of this circus would be better than the alternative.