During the 2016 election, conservative critics of Donald Trump were confronted by his supporters with the following question: Why can’t they just get over their concerns about the Republican nominee given that he was much more likely than Hillary Clinton to enact their preferred policies?
Ultimately, NeverTrump conservatives found an easy out. Over his years in the private sector, Trump had provided many reasons to be skeptical he’d govern as a conservative if elected. He had a long history of donating to Democrats, he had been chummy with the Clintons, he had spoken approvingly of socialized medicine, he had been radically pro-choice, he argued in favor of gun control, and he had talked about hiking taxes.
Looking toward a theoretical presidency, it was easy to imagine a scenario in which Trump surrounded himself with liberal New Yorkers, abandoned conservatives, and started cutting deals with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to build massive infrastructure projects. There were fears he’d appoint lousy judges — maybe even his pro-choice sister.