The nightmares and the realities of NeverTrump

Trump, it is rightly said, is his own worst enemy. The Never Trump mantra that “character is destiny,” and thus Trump in Nixonian style is doomed, may one day prove true. But for now the media is reduced to obsessions with Trump’s daily portions of ice cream (two scoops instead of one?) or peddles fake news that his wife was once an escort or that Trump frolicked in sick sexual antics in Moscow, and on and on. In the grand scheme of things these obsessions are far less important than the resumption of the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, a 70 percent drop in illegal immigration, and the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

In the case of Never Trump, a week of relative Trump quiet and good economic or foreign affairs news earns either a minute of quiet, or a begrudging nod, while a media frenzy over another Trump crudity brings out the inevitable “I was right all along.” More glee arises from an unsourced Washington Post rumor than news of new energy development or ongoing restoration of deterrence abroad. All this begs the question of whether the Never Trump group ever remembered why and how such a polarizing figure won the election and the presidency instead of another sober John McCain or judicious Mitt Romney, or what would be the consequences of a failed agenda for the country at large?

Introspection is not advice to withhold criticism when Trump exhibits his character flaws, but a call to at least appreciate the tragic situation that half the country finds itself in: a flawed character has a better chance of enacting key conservative correctives than did his occasionally moral superiors—a paradox to be explored by reasoned conservative audit rather than through hysteria or self-referential snark.