Sticking to core principles is becoming more important for conservatives by the hour.
Fortunately, there are only a few. There are the three pillars of our worldview:
1.) Free-market economics, which begins with the premise that a good or service is worth what buyer and seller agree that it is worth - period. No other party has any business being involved in that agreement - certainly not government.
2.) An understanding that Western civilization has been a unique blessing to humankind. (Judeo-Christian morality, Greco-Roman model of representative democracy, the great scientific and artistic achievements.)
3.) A foreign policy based on what history tells us about human nature. This plays itself out as our allies knowing we have their backs, our adversaries respecting us, and our enemies fearing us.
. . . and a veneration of dignified bearing, decorum and a striving for personal refinement.
Seriously, leave anything else alone.
To a large extent, that means staying away from Trumpist defenses of of what we know to be good, right and true.
With regard to the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, keep the focus on that event and the historical claim to Jersusalem's capital status. Cheerleading for Trump leaves you vulnerable to having to discuss the presence of John Hagee and Robert Jeffress at the proceedings. Someone signed off on a most boneheaded move when they were made part of the official entourage, but that takes nothing away from the fact that Jerusalem, along with Athens and Rome, is one of the three cities indispensable to the character of Western civilization.
With regard to the humiliation lobbed at Melania Trump, including Stephen King's tweet about her kidney surgery, keep your take on it on the level of basic respect for the position of First Lady. Otherwise, you leave yourself open to having her opportunistic statement about her beauty and her silent acquiescence to his habitually sybaritic ways brought into the discussion.
With regard to North Korea's apparent backpedalling on its much-touted abrupt change in attitude, please keep the Nobel Prize out of it. It's becoming apparent that Trump's and Pompeo's admirable overtures are merely encountering the same old Kim we've always dealt with.
It's a fallen world, and people are inevitably going to disappoint to some degree and in some form. Keep the focus on the principles and ideas. That's obviously true in the case of Trump, but it must be conceded that it's also the case regarding actual conservatives you admire.
The Three Pillars and the upholding of basic dignity. That's all you're ever going to need to remain untainted by either Leftism or the "populist" phenomenon.