The NeverTrump movement has been corrupted as much as Trump himself. As his loudest critics on the right decry the culture of Trump that has infested the GOP, they also sit on Morning Joe segments and beg for Jeff Zucker’s table scraps — the two men in the entirety of media more responsible for Donald Trump as he exists today, tweeting from the Oval Office, than any CPAC invitation. Sure, people like Bill Kristol, Charlie Sykes, Tom Nichols or Rick Wilson will happily sit on these panels without the principled temerity to call out Joe Scarborough or Jeff Zucker for their own roles in paving Trump’s way to the White House with billions of dollars of free media, because trolling Trump into an early morning rage tweet becomes paramount to their own personal brands for profit. Sound familiar?
NeverTrump failed not because of an opposition or alternative to Donald Trump. It failed because the leading proponents of it simply became Donald Trump, and no one is better at being Trump than Trump himself. Personal insults became the brand of the day. Purity tests and and loyalty demands became the key to their clubhouse.