A theory of NeverTrumpers

I am a conservative who was for Ted Cruz until he bowed out.

NeverTrumpers differ materially from NeverHillaryites, the latter of which are actually disappointed Bernie fans who will simply go another way while quietly claiming nothing but disdain for their party's soon-to-be nominee (well, the Democratic Party convention awaits, so I may be wrong about that).

I'm not talking about the literal few power brokers who have publicly pouted (and cut themselves out of any power for a decade-plus should Trump win) because Trump threatens their Post Toasties.  No, the prototypical man-on-the-street NeverTrumper is seemingly caught, paralyzed even, in a obsession about Cruz.  I have a theory about NeverTrumpers, though.  Want to hear it?  I knew you would.

The Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of acceptance

It's trite but true.  Denial was amply visited throughout the last year: "Trump will never..."  Sound familiar?  That was denial as the facts piled up against their particular chosen candidates.  Slowly but surely, denial gave way to outright anger when their preferred candidates one by one failed to topple Trump for the GOP nomination, save one: Cruz the Great Conservative Hope.  Contested convention?  Rules Committee changes?  Against a person who won about 70% of the national delegates against 17 competitors?  Really?

Anger remains, but we appear to have suddenly shifted into the bargaining stage.  Audit the Rules Committee?  Claim that only 3 million Republicans actually voted for Trump, with the rest being Democrats?  "Vote your clean conscience (damn the results)."  Amply quote the LA Times?  Really?  To what end now?  For NeverTrumpers, this one is personal, and therein lies the danger to them.

What's next for the NeverTrumpers?

I do not envy the NeverTrumpers' next stage: depression.  You'll hear things like "I won't vote" and continued hyperbolic poll comparisons even if Trump happens to be in the lead at this point in the election cycle after Clinton's $100-million ad spend.  What else?  Let's see.  In depression, you could also see NeverTrumpers revert back to extreme anger, but not for long.  Depression is their fast approaching friend now, and she's one mean b----.

Happily, there is relief for NeverTrumpers' neurosis: acceptance.  For some it will come quickly and benignly.  Others will take solace in high-profile NeverTrumper pundits who will keep the flame alive, regardless of the pending general election result.  It is my sorry duty, then, I suppose, to warn recalcitrant NeverTrumpers who will have to wait four to eight years for final depression/acceptance.  Please don't waste your time, emotion, and effort. Move on. Be happy.

Andrew G. White, CFA is president of Timeous LLC, a hedge fund strategy (Timeous Market Neutral) and investment consultancy.

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