by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The no longer quiet alliance between Never Trump conservatives and liberals does not offer an alternative to a choice between the Democratic “resistance” and Republicans.
It’s not as if it was a great secret but last week’s New York Times feature about the open ties between prominent conservative critics of President Donald Trump and liberals made it official. The last stalwarts of the “Never Trump” conservative movement are preparing to do more than merely complain about the object of their disdain; they’re now ready to join forces with liberals to oppose the president both in court and perhaps in future political campaigns.
Contrary to their hopes, this is not a harbinger of a political realignment. While the majority of Republican primary voters in 2016 voted for candidates other than Trump and a significant number of them continued to voice displeasure with their party’s nominee throughout that campaign, the overwhelming majority of GOP voters eventually voted for Trump that November. Even many of those who couldn’t bring themselves to pull the lever for Trump eventually made their peace with him once he was in office. …
… But to the hardcore Never Trump remnant, his policies are irrelevant. That fact that he has been arguably among the most conservative presidents in memory and has done things these figures would have supported if any other Republican had carried them out means nothing to them. In their eyes, Trump’s personality and sensibilities are a threat, as one of them told The New York Times, to “the liberal order” and a destroyer of the “norms of democracy.”