#NeverTrump: Can the real adults please stand up?
As the president presses on with his agenda and attains a surprising level of success, especially considering the unparalleled acrimony surrounding him, there stands one branch of the Republican Party in the way of even more success: the self-identified "#NeverTrumps." From George Will, presently advocating for voters to send Democratic majorities to both houses of Congress, to Jennifer Rubin of the ever so objective and balanced Washington Post, who has called for Sarah Sanders to be publicly harassed, this babbling crowd cannot get over itself.
Admittedly, there are many things about Donald Trump that cause great concern among his supporters, the author included. His recent press conference with Vladimir Putin was a disgrace. His inability to rise above petty disputes with people of utter irrelevance and forge ahead with a larger, coherent message can be maddening. But let's pause and consider what is even more pathetic than anything our president has done: the NeverTrumps. In fact, let's look at how their strategy would have played out in the 2016 election.
It goes without saying that Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and some of the other establishment types would still currently be recovering from what hit them. But what about at the congressional level? The Pennsylvania Senate race offers a fantastic breakdown of the Trump phenomenon. Despite being widely considered a moderate in temperament, Pat Toomey was doomed for defeat at the heels of a well backed and endorsed opponent. The most expensive race in U.S. history, it clocked in at around $150 million in spending on each side. Despite this, Toomey was re-elected by almost 100,000 votes. Why? If we look at numbers, we see that the Trump campaign's targeting of western Pa. voters paid off for both Trump and Toomey. Higher voter turnout because of Trump translated to higher margins in the western part of the state for Toomey. Do we really think for a split-second that Marco Rubio's plan to offer a "pathway to citizenship" for the ever increasing number of those here illegally would have brought either him or Pat Toomey victory? Or John Kasich's incoherent ramblings about how, because he was chairman of the House Budget Committee twenty years ago, he would magically be able to have Congress work together?
In short, the NeverTrumps cannot stand the president because he is a doer. Instead of millions upon millions of dollars spent by conservative think-tanks to promote messaging for which we still await results, he actually connects with voters by stating the truth. Someone here illegally isn't undocumented; he is an illegal alien. A terrorist who proclaims that his acts are in the service of his god isn't forsaking his faith; he is embracing it. Constant placation of rogue dictatorships such as Iran and North Korea isn't suave diplomacy; it's a sham. The list goes on and on.
Were the NeverTrumps concerned about presidential decorum when Barack Obama's White House provided talking points to radical left-wing anarchists during the Baltimore race riots? Did they voice their objections when Obama declared that he didn't have the authority to grant amnesty but did anyway? It's ironic that those same individuals are the ones now declaring Trump beyond the pale because of his immigration policies.
Voters face a choice in November. Our nation can continue on the steady, albeit sometimes rocky, path of growth it is currently on, or we can return to the reckless, smug era of fat, bloated, unconstitutional government we miraculously survived after eight years. To those concerned about what the president tweets despite his willingness to take the fight to the "progressive enemy," I say but one thing: put up or shut up, and do it sooner rather than later. My liberties under our Constitution are more valuable than your effete sensibilities.
The author is a staffer on Capitol Hill and observes firsthand the topics about which he writes. In his spare time, he is a voracious reader and student of history, the German language and culture, and American political thought and theory.