We all understood it. Very many of us greatly sympathized with it. The idea that Donald Trump, long-time Democrat and close buddy of the Progressive Establishment was to be the Republican Party’s standard-bearer was a lot to swallow. It just didn’t seem right. Add to it Trump’s background of divorces, sharp business practices and general crudities, and it was just a bridge too far. It couldn’t be borne.
Some of us, though, did decide to bear it. I freely admit to happily voting for Donald Trump at the end of the day: I calculated that a Hillary Administration would be so destructive of our liberties (especially our right to free exercise of religion) and so hopelessly corrupt that nothing Donald Trump could do would be worse – and, relying on hope, I figured that some things I liked might get done, even if more by accident than design. But, still, there was a rational point to being a Never Trump Conservative right up to election day and beyond. But now we’re a year past election day and it is time to take stock.
Over this past year, we’ve had a bunch of strict constructionist judges appointed. It is impossible to over-state how important this is (I know our “law, all the time” Amazona is delighted with this). Are you irritated with all those judges who rule against the Constitution and plain common-sense just so they can virtue-signal against Trump Administration policies? That is what you get when you have Democrat Presidents: judicial appointees who aren’t remotely interested in the law, but only in whatever it is Progressives want at the moment. Four to eight more years of that and we could rely on it that the Judges would rule that the 2nd Amendment is void, that Free Exercise means “you can do it as we want, or not at all”, that Free Speech is trumped by alleged Hate Speech. Instead, we’re getting judges who will rule, for decades, the opposite of that – and Trump is just getting started. Unlike past Republican Presidents, Trump seems determined to find judges who are exactly what we want…there won’t be many, if any, stealth Progressives appointed by Trump to the bench. Over the next decades, these Judges will rule in favor of law to our immense benefit.
A good part of the reason for our economic doldrums over the previous eight years was the suffocating tentacles of government regulation. Really, it had been going on since Reagan left office (neither Bush ever made a serious effort at deregulation), but under the Obama Administration it took off like a rocket. Eight more years of this and only well-established firms able to bribe the government would be able to exist in our economy – everyone else would be shut out by a mountain of red tape. Trump has vigorously attacked regulations since he took office and he looks to keep going strongly at it until his last day in office. The importance of this is vast – and twofold. It not only frees up the economy and allows us to grow, but it also reduces the power of government. As far as regulation goes, Donald Trump is a small-government Conservative’s dream…and a Libertarian’s dream, as well.
On taxes, Trump wants complete reform – but as it looks like he can’t get that at the moment, he’s at least pushing for across-the-board cuts. This is also good for the economy and also good for liberty because each dollar government extracts from the people is just one more small piece of personal liberty chipped away.
Trump wants Obamacare repealed and replaced. GOP fecklessness has prevented this, so far, but given time and continued GOP Congressional majority, it will happen.
Trump is not a Pen and Phone President – he wants his policies enshrined into properly enacted, Constitutionally-valid laws. This devolution of power from the Presidency back to Congress is crucial to the long-term health of our republic. Whether Trump is knowledgeable on the theory or just realizes that its better to use the system to fix the system is unknown and irrelevant – that he’s doing what needs to be done to redress the balance of power between the Executive and the Legislative is crucial.
Trump isn’t anti-immigrant – he’s just in favor of legal immigration over illegal immigration. This is a no-brainer even if you are a Conservative in favor of large immigration. Of course we want all immigrants to be legal immigrants. Duh! Only an idiot would want illegal immigration to be any part of our immigration system. Whether we take in ten per year or ten million, it must be according to law. Trump is the first President since Reagan who actually wants to get hold of the problem and fix it – really fix it; not fake-fix it where we pretend we’re reforming immigration but all we really do is legalize the illegals and do nothing to prevent another ten million illegals from showing up.
Trump wants to win the war(s). Trump is not a war-monger in the least. In the old, Isolationist American tradition, he’s actually quite a peacenik…but he also realizes that if you gotta fight, then you’d better fight all the way. No pettifogging concerns about i-dotting and t-crossing. Let the troops do their job, and watch their backs as they do it. Find allies who are willing to do the things we’d rather not, and then don’t get squeamish when they do it. Rebuild our military power (since the first Bush Administration, our military establishment has been gutted…and training and readiness have come in second to politically-correct twaddle). Let our enemies know that while we are the best friend anyone can have, we’re also the worst enemy anyone can have.
In the Reagan and two Bush Administrations, foreign policy remained largely in the hands of permanent State Department employees who were beholden to the Progressive idea of what foreign policy should be. Reagan managed to buck it enough to ensure that his program vis a vis the Soviet Union was carried out, but the two Bushes were continually undercut – mostly because they carried the false idea that the bureaucrats at State were patriots interested in what was good for America, rather than what they were: Democrats who’s primary loyalty is to the Democrat party. Tillerson is cleaning house at State – over the next years, the foreign policy of the United States will be under the control of the President elected by the people to conduct our foreign policy…and, more importantly, by clearing out the Progressive deadwood and putting in our people, even after Trump leaves office there will be a legacy of rational, pro-American foreign policy inherent in the State Department.
I could go on but, seriously, what more do you want? For a Conservative, this is a bonanza. This is, policy-wise, better than Reagan. Yes, we’re missing a few things – be nice to have Trump be serious about debt reduction, for instance. But, you can’t ever get all that you want. But we’re getting plenty. Trump’s actions over the past year have completely negated any actual Conservative concern about the direction of Trump Administration policy. Whatever he was before he announced himself a candidate, he’s all we can ask for or reasonably hope to get. Even his outrageous Twitter antics are obvious, now, as tactics to irritate his opponents and fire up his base. Irritated opponents do stupid things – and we see Trump’s opponents getting stupider by the day. A fired up base means you retain the political capital necessary to take policy risks. All in all, Trump has been excellent. So, why do we still have Conservative Never Trump?
Well, I don’t think we do. Bill Kristol, a standard-bearer of Conservative Never Trump, the other day Tweeted out that Trump’s policies are bringing out his inner socialist. Indeed. Of course, no Conservative has an inner socialist. Quite honestly, you can’t carry a bit of socialist in you and be Conservative. But Kristol’s inner socialist is coming out – and that reveals that he never was a Conservative to begin with. And, at this point, no person who holds to Never Trump can be Conservative. How can you? What are you fighting against? Conservative judges? Tax reform? Strong military? Rule of law? If you’re doing any or all of that, then I’ve got a news flash for you: you aren’t Conservative. So, there’s no need to retain the concept of “Never Trump Conservative” any longer – Conservatives are on Trump’s side. He’s done the things we need done – and done them enough to fully justify a conviction that he’ll keep doing them…and thus earn ours support for his re-election in 2020. We can now just say that Trump’s opponents are all Progressives – that some will still hold on to the title of Conservative for a while is irrelevant: we’re used to Progressives hiding their real desires behind false fronts.
It’s good this happened – we now know why we kept on losing even though Conservatism is the only rational political ideology to have: we had Progressives in our midst who continually cut us off at the knees and found justifications for accepting Progressive innovations. Trump has torn the mask off them and they have self-purged from our movement. We can now go forward knowing that those who are on our side are actually on our side. This will work well for us long term – we might even keep winning for a while.