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Okay, #NeverTrump, Enough Already
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To be clear, I donated to the Cruz campaign, advised the campaign, and voted for Ted Cruz in the Missouri primary. That said, I never criticized Donald Trump in public. My reasoning was simple enough: I planned to vote for him if he won the nomination. Having written a few books about the Clintons, I knew the alternative much too well.
With Indiana, the die was cast. For a moment, I was relieved. It meant that my friends—some real, more virtual-- would no longer crowd my Facebook page with virulent anti-Cruz messages. The relief did not last long. Even before all the Indiana votes were fully counted, many of my Facebook friends—some Cruz supporters, some not--were now posting virulent anti-Trump messages.
A day or two of this defiance I could understand. I respect principled dissent, but Sunday proved to be something of a watershed. I realized that people who would rather post nasty memes about Trump than sweet reminisces about their moms were not sane enough for Jack World. I started “unfollowing” them.
Many of these posts came with the disclaimer that if Hillary won the presidency, it would not be the fault of the NeverTrump dissenters, but of the presumed idiots who voted for Trump in the first place.
Nonsense. It is as if a conscientious objector announced his principled resistance to a particular war and then continued to boast about his principles once or more a day until the enemy prevailed. That resister could say he did help the enemy win, but no one would believe him.
To be sure, if Trump had not won, many of his supporters would have loudly proclaimed their refusal to support the candidate that did. They would have blamed a Republican establishment that denied their man his due. And they would have had a point. The NeverTrump people, however, can only blame the Trump people.
To call Trump a racist is to call his supporters racist. The irony, of course, is that Trump has not even talked about race. For the record, “Muslim” is no more a race than “Catholic”, and “Mexican” is no more a race than “American.” His supporters see through this overworked left wing sophistry.
The charge that Trump is a liberal does not change hearts or minds either. In 2008, the Republican establishment warmly embraced John McCain. Just four years prior, McCain openly flirted with the idea of serving as John Kerry’s running mate in his attempt to unseat George W. Bush.
In the faint praise department, Trump is as reliably conservative as McCain. The Second Amendment, the pro-life cause, and our national borders will have more of a future under Trump than they would have under McCain and inarguably more than under Hillary.
The accusation that Trump is brash, rude and vulgar might carry some weight if establishment Republicans weren’t so spectacularly docile. It is their docility that makes Trump’s brashness and belligerence stand out more. Had they a little more moxie, Trump would still be firing apprentices on national TV.
And to believe there would be no difference between a Trump presidency and a Clinton one is to have ignored the last quarter century of American history. With the possible exception of Aaron Burr and her own husband, Hillary Clinton has no peer in the annals of political brigandry.
Say what one will, but Trump won fair and square. To insult Trump is to insult his voters. The problem is that there are a lot of these voters, and they have the potential to expand—or contract--the Republican base.
In Missouri, for instance, 50 percent more voters turned out in the Republican primary than in a tightly contested Democratic primary that same day. To put that in perspective, Missouri is an historic swing state. McCain carried it by less than 1 percent in 2008.
Many of the Trump voters have not voted for a Republican candidate before. Some have not voted period. They have no particular allegiance to the Republican Party. If the NeverTrump people—prominent and otherwise—continue to defame their candidate and disrespect them, they have no incentive to vote for Republicans down ticket.
If, however, Party worthies negotiate a deal with Trump and embrace him at the convention in July, Trump supporters can have a major impact on the Party’s success in November and going forward.
If not, does anyone know a good defense lawyer?
Jack Cashill’s new book, TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover up, the Conspiracy can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.
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