I have a hard time with whether or not to embrace the "Never Trumper" crowd. Are they moral humans who see danger in a Populist wave, or mere opportunists? Many like David Frum describe loss of work and estranged friendships as punishment for opposing Trump, but these same people defended GOP led Iraq war. What’s a liberal to do?
Are never Trumpers just being smart careerists? The hard numbers show Conservatives have turned away from well researched journalism and favor yelling conspiracy mongering trolls. In the case of David Frum, he has fought this shift for years. He went after Limbaugh, and critiqued Sarah Palin’s divisive campaigning and lowbrow tactics. Frum is also independently wealthy, all good arguments that his never Trumper stance is born of genuine motives
One thing is obvious, when conservative journalists decide to critique Trump, there is fierce backlash. They’re fired, their editors block stories, or if published they endure swift public excommunication. Even a suggestion that Trump’s “shithole” comments were “unfortunate” caused FOX viewers to call for Kilmeade be fired.
“Conservatives have decided they are a tribe,” says Jennifer Rubin, the conservative Washington Post writer. “They’re not Americans first. They’re Trump defenders first.” Indeed after critiquing the GOP for years and pointing out repeatedly that Obamacare was a Republican idea, Frum was ultimately only fired for targeting Trump. After such excommunication, Conservatives are occupying paid positions at places like the Washington Post and appearing on MSNB where they’re encouraged to speak their minds on Trump. I love it, but are they really ‘one of us?’
Are we empowering people whose goal is to push liberals further and further to the right just because they trash Trump? These are people who stood behind Bush as he launched an illegal war and defended his Katrina failure. Have they changed, or are liberals just too open minded to others who don’t actually have good motives?
Frum has been pretty prescient all along and says “ If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.” So are never Trumpers our allies? In the case of Frum I’ll say a tepid "yes." As far as the rest? I’d say be careful who we empower.
By Being Liberal contributor: Sarah Ficca