It’s another thrilling issue of… True Confessions!
There’s a nice piece up at The Federalist from Missouri-based Nathanael Blake. His headline reads: “I Was A Never Trumper Until Democrats Went Gonzo On Kavanaugh. Now, Hand Me That Red Hat.”
(Hat tip to LongTime Sharp PJ Media Reader™ Andrew Stern.)
Blake writes that although he started out as a NeverTrumper, he “also criticized the die-hard Never-Trumpers who are willing to jettison conservatism to pursue their vendetta against Trump,” and that he’s “tried to call things” as he saw them. Which is the kind of intellectual honesty we should be able to appreciate from anyone. He goes on to say, “Sometimes I was pleased with Trump’s policy, and sometimes I was appalled by him. I do not disavow any of what I wrote. Nonetheless, I now support Trump’s reelection.”
Like many people I’ve seen on TV, in published articles, and even in the comments section right here at PJM, the Democrats’ Kavanaugh Kavalcade was Blake’s last straw:
It is not just that the Democrats have vitiated any claim to possess superior character or temperament (though they have), or that Trump’s policies have been better than I expected. I now support Trump because the Democratic Party and its media allies are controlled by people who view conservatives not as political opponents to be voted down, but as enemies to be personally destroyed.
Indeed. But this next line (with my emphasis added) is the real takeaway: “Trump will say anything, but Democrats will do anything.”
I opposed Trump during the primaries, because I was looking for a movement conservative, and for all the good things he is, Trump just isn’t one of those. I even flirted with the NeverTrumpers after the Colorado GOP convention (which we hold instead of a primary), because Trump and his surrogates told bald-faced lies about why he lost to Ted Cruz — lies told about my friends and my neighbors. That’s still a bit of a sore spot, but obviously I got over it.
Sure, there have been some disappointments — the L’affair Daniels comes to mind, and especially Jeff Sessions as AG — but nothing too terrible. The surprises have been almost entirely positive, and Trump’s early supporters were dead right on the most vital score: Trump fights. By the time we got around to the Kavanaugh Kavalcade, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that Trump ran beside his nominee all the way to the finish line.
Here’s what I wrote at Instapundit about just that this morning, “No matter what else anyone might think of President Trump, the fact that he stood by his nominee throughout this unprecedented savaging is itself unprecedented — and praiseworthy in the extreme.”
And I finished with a much-deserved stab at the remaining NeverTrumpers:
I can’t imagine how Trump’s selection and protection of a good man and a well-qualified jurist could cause any conservative or right-leaning libertarian to put more distance between themselves and Trump.
Except of course, for those whose iron rice bowls or NOKD-snobbery have become more important than their oft-stated principles.
I was never quite a NeverTrump, but I’ll never be an AlwaysTrump. That’s because in a representative democracy like our own, no free citizen should be unreservedly beholden to any elected official, ever. We’ve got to speak our minds and keep that First Amendment hot & fresh, to help keep officeholders in line — even the ones we mostly agree with. Maybe even especially them. But Always MostlyTrump, that’s a thing, right?
I voted for Trump in 2016 without hesitation; I’d have voted for the Devil Himself if the GOP had put him up against Hillary. But I did have some serious concerns at the time. Those concerns are gone now, thanks in large part to Trump’s SCOTUS picks and the way he fought for them. Or as Blake concluded his column, “This is about self-defense. And that is why I’ve gone from ‘Meh’ to ‘MAGA!'”
But I still won’t wear the hat — not so long as my hair still looks this good.