The Collapse of the Never-Trump Conservatives

With the installation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and a yet-to-be-named reliable replacement for the unreliable Anthony Kennedy, Donald Trump will have confirmed himself as the most consequential conservative president of the modern era (or a close second to Reagan if you’re nostalgic). This will be complete vindication for Trump supporters, which means it’s really the end for the so-called Never Trump conservatives. Of course, there have been so many humiliating defeats for that crowd that we are spoiled for choice. What was your favorite blunder, or blown prediction, which marked their ignominious end?

For some, it must have been in March when Bill Kristol, longtime editor of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard, showed up in New Hampshire telling people he would run against President Trump in 2020. Or in April when the conservative website RedState was taken over and purged of writers who were “insufficiently supportive” of the president. Some go back to October 2017 when a Twitter spat broke out between Stephen Hayes and Brit Hume of Fox News over the Weekly Standard’s anti-Trump editorials. With the death last week of Charles Krauthammer, the revered neocon commentator and prominent Trump skeptic, the eclipse of the neocon intellectuals is complete.

One thing’s for sure: it wasn’t really a war so much as a rout. The Never Trump intellectual crowd has no momentum and no popular following these days. Consider the trajectory of their would-be leader Kristol, who appears to be indulging in a personal fantasy by putting himself forward as a candidate, as his rapport with GOP voters includes trying to run Evan McMullin in Utah to throw the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton. When that stunt failed, Kristol personally insulted the pro-Trump writer Michael Anton for his influential essay “The Flight 93 election.” Then Kristol’s commentator gig with Fox was not renewed, and he was soon accusing Tucker Carlson of “ethno-nationalism” and “racism.” Overshadowing all of these breaks was Kristol’s personal history of being the conservative’s answer to Bob Shrum, a political “pro” who was always very wrong about politics.

Read More: Spectator.org

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