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I was one of the more persistent and vocal NeverTrump people on Ricochet leading up to the election so I think I have the street cred to write this.
It’s time to retire the NeverTrump label. It was a useful label during the election cycle because it was a clear way on the center-right to identity as people who had made the still reasonable decision not to vote for Trump. However, I see a variety of problems with its continued use, including:
- It signals that you are inflexible and closed-minded. By persisting in using the label, you’re telling others that no matter what Trump does in his first administration, you won’t vote for him if he runs again in 2020.
- It’s already being used for virtual signaling and moral preening here on Ricochet. No one likes that sort of behavior. I continue to reject the argument that not voting for Trump was de facto morally preening self-righteousness, but now I’m actually seeing it being specifically used for that purpose . I was clearly wrong about that at least in certain cases.
- It’s an unproductive and unnecessary tribal division for the center-right and Ricochet. I also don’t like the idea of staking out a position where I’m telling people who voted for Trump that I stand waiting to judge them when Trump does something silly or awful and we know that will happen. I also don’t like the behavior that I’m seeing on the Trump voting side essentially reading me out of the center-right because I didn’t vote for Trump. It should be self-evident that this is bad behavior not just from an interpersonal standpoint, but as a political one as well.
I’m back to using the term classical liberal as my primary self-label. NeverTrump served a useful and honorable purpose during the election cycle, but I can’t see any usefulness for it now. I still think he’ll, shall we say, underperform as president, but I could be wrong and end up voting for him in 2020 if he decides to run again. That alone makes the NeverTrump label a poor fit for me and it should for you also.
(She’s gone, right? Gone gone? We’re done with her? Right? Right!?!)Published in