Ninety percent of the GOP support Donald Trump. They’re happy, for once, to have someone respond to the media and not allow their worldview to be the butt of every joke, and that be the last word. The feeling among these folks, though, is that the conservative thought leaders, NRO and Weekly Standard writers among them, of the center-right coalition laughed along with Obama when he made fun of bitter-clingers and tea baggers. These True Cons™ agreed with Hillary that those people are deplorable.
Strangely enough, the deplorables got sick of being used and disrespected.
The Never Trump claim on conservatism would be stronger if previous Republicans were small government guys or staunchly conservative, but they weren’t. Big spenders all, more squishy on social conservatism, and narrow thinkers regarding foreign policy, none of them were particularly original or inspiring leaders. The American people rejected McCain and Romney. Conservatives endured George W. Bush’s big government spending and foreign entanglements and choked on the vast new bureaucratic landscape that he created. When looking at the policy positions of the above and contrasting them to Trump, one could argue that Trump has been more conservative.