I didn’t support Donald Trump in the primary; indeed I was incredibly critical of Trump at times. I supported Rand Paul, I believed that Senator Paul was the best person to lead our party and to defeat Hillary Clinton – and I worried that Donald Trump simply wouldn’t be able to win in November. In the end, not enough Republican primary voters agreed with me and conversely, a plurality of GOP voters and a majority of the delegates representing them decided Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee.
I had respect and indeed empathy for the #NeverTrump forces during the primaries. I understood their concerns about Trump and about what his nomination would mean. I also understood and shared their concerns about the tone Mr. Trump often took and the tone far too many of his supporters took on social media.
The #NeverTrump forces were right to call out some of the nasty, bigoted, and racist voices of the alt-right that were clamoring to Trump’s side.
Tragically, #NeverTrump ceded the moral high ground they love to claim weeks ago.
Their self-indulgent descent into parody has turned #NeverTrump into what I like to call the Real Housewives of Conservative Twitter: more trashy reality television than principled opposition, more teenage girl theatrics than thoughtful critics.
Unable to beat Trump at the ballot box, they have turned to hash tag activism and political kabuki theater to “win the war” (not sure what war has ever been won or lost on Twitter).
We have adult men burning their GOP registration cards, rage-quitting the Republican Party, writing endless “thought” pieces on the moral supremacy of their actions, taking every invite from MSNBC to go on television and bash their former party, gleefully sharing op eds by noted “conservative” luminaries like Jonathan Capehart and Andrew Sullivan, and playing the role of useful idiot right along side Meghan McCain and Christy Todd Whitman.
It is not enough that they insist on using every social media platform to document and share their outrage (if you didn't SnapChat it and Instagram it - it didn't happen) they have turned to attacking anyone who has the audacity to not share their outrage. In a page right of the left's playbook, anyone who might actually decide to support the rightfully elected nominee of the Republican Party, anyone who dares to wander off the #NeverTrump's ideological plantation, is immediately branded a blood traitor to the #NeverTrump movement.
Not only is every Republican who considers voting for Trump a traitor, any Republican elected official who endorses the nominee of the party is now considered a Nazi collaborator - dubbed #VichyRepublicans by the #NeverTrump crowd. Even former rivals of Trump from the primary who took an oath to support the nominee are attacked as “collaborators.”
While they bash Rand Paul and Rick Perry for keeping their oaths, they bizarrely praise Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush for breaking the very oath they all so loudly demanded.
I understand those who choose not to support Trump and I understand those who previously opposed Trump who now choose to support him. What I do not understand is the antics of the Real Housewives of Conservative Twitter.
I sincerely hope - and indeed expect - that some of this will fade. I believe the #NeverTrump forces will figure out that, despite their differences with the nominee, the real enemy is not Republicans who choose to support Trump, but are liberals hell bent on electing Hillary Clinton and moving this country even further to the left.
At the end of the day, the very essence of our system is built upon an individual's right to vote. There is nothing more fundamental, no more personal of a liberty, than the right to vote. Who a person decides to vote for in this election, or any other election, is a matter of personal choice. Each person must decide for themselves what their conscience dictates. No one owes their vote to Trump, and certainly no one owes their votes to #NeverTrump - and no amount of hash tag activism or histrionics will change that.