Thank you, Charlie, for taking on the notion that Never Trump conservatives have somehow been co-opted or corrupted by Trump when we praise him when he does good things and critique him where he goes wrong. In fact, isn’t that the obligation of every honest conservative with any president? Wasn’t that our obligation with president Obama?
It’s absurd to argue that simply because I opposed both Trump and Clinton in the presidential election that I should somehow immediately run to the barricades and declare implacable opposition to all things Trump. That’s a child’s game. The international and domestic stakes are too high to simply throw a four-year temper tantrum.
Instead, the responsible thing to do is to use whatever platforms we have to hold the administration accountable. To that end, I’ve praised many of his cabinet picks, praised his decision to place accomplished generals in key positions, strongly defended Jeff Sessions, and stated clearly that I pray for him, wish him well and fervently hope that he succeeds in office.
At the same time, I’ve criticized Trump’s connection to Steve Bannon, expressed strong reservations about his choice for Secretary of State, condemned his seeming affection for Putin’s Russia, attacked his habit of going after ordinary Americans when they dare criticize him, and openly expressed concern that his myriad personal scandals risk “Clintonizing” the GOP. That’s selling out?
The election mooted Never Trump. How can there “never” be a presidency that now exists? It didn’t moot the conservative movement. And for that movement, Trump holds both promise and peril. Honest conservatives will recognize both.
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