We Mean What We Say: #NeverTrump

Ryan T. Darby Ryan T. Darby, Undesignated 22 Comments


Support your local and congressional candidates this election, but we’re better off without Donald Trump.

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, his supporters are attacking Republicans who refuse to vote for the Donald––Not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary! is their inevitable cacophony.

I dislike Hillary Clinton as much as the next Republican––she’s a flagrantly corrupt, morally bankrupt, and grossly incompetent liberal Democrat. Sadly, the record shows that Donald Trump is probably no better, and may be a whole lot worse. Indeed, Trump is an unstable, dishonest liberal populist with a poor moral compass and authoritarian leanings whose understanding of government fluctuates from mortifyingly ignorant to frighteningly authoritarian. I’ve taken the time to summarize some of his biggest frauds and failings with comprehensive citations just so we’re clear.

Trump used to be a registered Democrat who advocated such liberal policies as single-payer health care and a $5.7 trillion wealth tax. He called Ronald Reagan a “con man,” thought Bill Clinton was our best president over the past 25 years, considered George W. Bush “evil,” speculated that Hillary Clinton “would make a great President,” praised Barack Obama as a “strong leader” who understood the economy “on a comprehensive level,” and in 2012 depicted Mitt Romney’s illegal immigration plan as “mean spirited” and “maniacal.”

Trump has donated $1.3 million to politicians, and most of it has gone to Democrats. In 2010, he donated $10,000 to the Democratic Committee of New York State. From 1999 until 2015, Trump donated over $350,000 to New York Democrats, compared to $231,000 to New York Republicans. He donated $50,000 to former Obama aide Rahm Emanuel. He even donated $10,000 to Hillary Clinton. No need to ask Trump to put his money where his mouth is; if he put his mouth where his money has gone, his rhetoric would be entirely different. He defends his funding of Democrats by claiming it was a business decision, but doesn’t that make us wonder what else he would do to benefit himself while leaving the rest of us high and dry?

Trump’s liberal credentials are beyond dispute, but his supporters quickly point to Ronald Reagan as an example of a Democrat turned Republican. This is a flawed analogy, though, because Reagan’s ideology gradually evolved over the years, and he clearly and convincingly articulated why he changed. Donald Trump, on the other hand, offers no explanation for his quick and convenient transformation, and switches his positions so rapidly that we have no idea where he actually stands. Trump flip-flopped on the minimum wage and taxes less than a week after becoming the presumptive nominee. Who knows how else he’ll “evolve” as the general election approaches?

All indications suggest that Trump is a liberal pretending to be a Republican, but it really goes much deeper than that. He’s simply unfit to hold our highest office.

His desire to “open up” our libel laws to make it easier to sue people for expressing their opinions is unconstitutional and frighteningly authoritarian––that should immediately disqualify him from serious consideration. His interview with the Washington Post editorial board was so rambling and incoherent that he was running out the clock because he could not answer direct questions, or he’s in dire need of psychological evaluation. Seriously, read the transcript––it’s disturbing.

He most likely committed fraud in the Trump University case, and he even implied that a federal judge was biased against him because “he’s Hispanic.” He selected a self-described “white nationalist” as a delegate. He insulted Heidi Cruz’s appearance, joked about Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle, and basically called Carly Fiorina ugly. He practically brags that the IRS has audited him 12 years in a row––and the IRS Commissioner’s statement that successive audits are rare suggests that Trump is either dishonest about the frequency of the audits, or his filings are extremely questionable. For crying out loud, he doesn’t even know what the GI Bill is.  And although free-market and liberal economists alike agree that free trade is good for the economy, Trump favors protectionism.

Some terrifying breaking news: Trump claimed he could reduce the federal debt by convincing creditors to take a haircut, and upon learning this would cause interest rates to climb, assured us we could simply print our way out of bankruptcy.

In other words, Donald Trump is authoritarian, volatile, misogynistic, racial, bullying, disturbingly ignorant, and downright vile. Someone with this background wouldn’t even pass cursory vetting for City Dog Catcher, so it’s mind boggling that he’s the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States.

As a general rule of thumb, I don’t vote for terrible candidates. Maybe it’s a matter of principle, or maybe I just don’t like the idea of terrible candidates making important decisions for me; I don’t know, it’s just one of those things. Either way, Donald Trump is a no-go.

Trump’s done nothing to earn my vote––and plenty to lose it––so why should I give it to him? Ah, that’s right; Not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary! is being angrily shouted into computer monitors and smartphone screens both near and far.

Well, let’s be clear: Trump’s supporters are nominating him despite our pledge to never vote for him, and now virtually every major head-to-head poll shows Clinton trouncing Trump. Therefore, it’s far more accurate to say that Trump supporters are electing Hillary. This is a self-inflicted wound, and his supporters can only blame their own lack of foresight.

Furthermore, both candidates are awful––and I would rather have an awful president hailing from the opposition party than mine. Otherwise, if Trump is elected and becomes the trainwreck we have every reason to expect, then we will own that failure, and it will haunt us for years or even decades to come. Hillary is bad, but the Bernie Sanders revolution indicates a far more liberal Democrat would replace Trump in 2020. Whereas, if Hillary is elected and turns out to be as awful as we fear, then let’s position ourselves to elect a true and principled reformer rather than a snake oil salesman. Supporting an awful Republican to defeat an awful Democrat is extremely short-sighted, and the bigger picture is far more important than sacrificing our entire future atop the Altar of Donald Trump.

Let’s make one thing very clear, though: Not voting for Trump should not mean staying home in June or November. To the contrary, there are too many worthy candidates running for important offices for us to ‘sit this one out.’

Instead, there is a third (party) option. If Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential nomination, then I will vote for Gary Johnson, the likely Libertarian Party nominee, and vote for Republicans down the ticket. This is a bold vote for fiscal conservatism and individual rights, and a tangible stand against the deplorability of Donald Trump. Let’s restore some sanity to our party and demand legitimate policymakers who can guide us from the Trump catastrophe to a New Republican future.


Comments 22

  1. Excellent article and I agree with 90% but you are incorrect when you say “and now virtually every major head-to-head poll shows Clinton trouncing Trump.” There are recent polls for individual swing states that show Trump winning and those are the polls you need to analyze. National polls mean nothing. It is the electoral college vote and you can win with 15-20 states.

  2. One thing is clear: 100% of California’s Electoral College votes will go to the Democrat. By a landslide — well over a million votes.

    So one can vote one’s conscience in the Golden State without the slightest concern that one’s vote would have influenced the outcome.

    Like Ryan, it looks like I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson, the LP candidate — while voting straight GOP “down ticket.”

  3. I emphasize Ryan’s point: Be SURE to vote. In both June and November.

    Even if you don’t vote for a Presidential candidate, there are many other races that need your vote. Moreover, not voting is too often viewed as apathy — or complacency. Not many reading this blog suffer from either malady.

    In addition (and perhaps more importantly) there will be MANY propositions on the ballot — including 4 to 7 tax/bond measures (the number will vary with your local jurisdiction). Need I recommend how you should vote on these matters?

  4. Mr. Darby-

    I can’t disagree with much of your well-thought out and well-delivered amicus curiae. However, recent polls by Rasmussen and others highlighting the gap rapidly closing in vital swing states between Hillary and Trump weaken the “he can’t win” cacophony laid out by the #NeverTrumpers. Many, even on the left, are feeling the water rise that he could actually win. Also, Trump is attracting a wide, cross-party white middle class vote that transcends traditional party affiliations. Simultaneously, Hillary is alienating many male voters across demographic and classic political lines, thus shifting the conventional mindset on which blocs are voting and how. With his unmatched turnout of voters and already surpassing the historic GOP primary vote count, he appears much more formidable than the TVGOP or GOPe are willing to admit. This is a tough pill to swallow for many invested, dye-in-the-wool establishment types…

    Silver lining: Here’s the New Generation.

    Like in the movie “The Dark Knight”- The intransigent “#NeverTrump” is colliding with the inexorable “#NeverHillary. I’ll let people decide which is the brooding dark anti-hero breaking the rules and which is the maniacal charlatan. Although, we know with Hillary, the substantial moral, political, social and legal hemorrhaging of this great nation will continue virtually unabated coupled with a malleable and spineless GOP congressional leadership that continues to ignore the will of their own constituents and acquiescing and surrendering on nearly everything that matters to conservatives. With Trump, it might…then again, it might not.

    I can understand why you underscored the “cacophony” of #NeverTrump equals #AssureHillary meme…because, sadly, but undisputedly, it is a clear-cut, mathematical fact. However, in a practical and reality based binary construct, that of competing “Nevers” (vice Perot-esque 3rd party folly and lottery-style political fortunetelling) I am a steadfast #NeverHillary proponent. As such, given everything laid out, key factors enter the calculus for #NeverHillary proponents-

    1. The chances Trump will advance the types of leftist Supreme Court member extremes Hillary inevitably will is reduced considerably;

    2. The GOP-favored budgets advanced by Ryan and McConnell are for more likely to be considered (not vetoed) and crafted in a much more favorable way for GOP proponents than with a POTUS Hillary;

    3. Hillary will not be given free rein to advance her abhorrent Foreign Policy and National Security agendas to the increasing determent to American international influence and domestic security.

    4. Her NS and FP creds are about as bad as any major political figure in recent decades. She is loathed by the military and mistrusted by the National Command Authority, federal law enforcement, and intelligence communities. Her personal unprecedented disdain for uniformed military, Secret Service, and other national security types is well documented. She is NOT fit to lead our nation’s military.

    5. If Trump is elected…he is elected for 4 years…now immediately having to market himself positively for what every 1st term administration wants…a second term. He may be swayed and channeled in more favorable ways to ingratiate himself to the center-right electorate because his ego demands it (he doesn’t want to hear “you’re fired” after four years).

    6. We as the GOP voters and with the expanded tent of new Trump voters as the future barometers that matter to him as a 1st term president can craft his narrative to assure he is more compliant for his second term.

    7. While Trump displays boorish, cretin-like behavior and often must try to put the rhetoric tooth paste back in the proverbial tube, we all know just how awful Hillary Rodham Clinton is. I am confident no one believes Hillary, once in office, will be anything but we have come to know; being a Clinton, and all the foreseeable harm for America that comes with that.

    8. Have you heard her speak…I mean really…you want to listen to that for 4-8 years???…that alone is enough for me to vote for Gilbert Godfrey before Hillary.

    I am not Pro-Trump; I am #NeverHillary because my previous GOP choices failed to rise to the challenge (and 3 of them have now endorsed Trump) and my party was feckless in stopping the juggernaut that was “Make America Great Again.” Unless I choose burying myself into the political sand, throwing tantrums on why my guy/gal lost, or write lengthy articles soothing my own voting conscience, I am stuck with the lessor of two evils…for me as a Republican and patriot, and ostensibly tens of millions of others, that lessor evil at this moment in time is presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump.

    The choice is clear- Unite to defeat the clear leftist and dangerously progressive, Hillary!

  5. After all, a victorious Trump will finally get to the bottom of the sordid Rafael Cruz/Lee Harvey Oswald connection!

  6. Regrettably, Trump will have to tear his Obama Truther Team away from Hawaii where, he claimed, they’re “finding incredible things.”
    But those findings will have to await!
    New presidential priorities beckon!

  7. Wasn’t that Hillary that started the Obama birther movement when she was running against Obama in the primary? Find another meme, preferably a recent one.

  8. Ryan:

    The problem with political discourse is each side’s “need” to take an all-or-nothing stand. Hillary Clinton may have her flaws, but to say that she is “grossly incompetent” just weakens your point. If she is “grossly incompetent” then what does that say about everyone else who was in the presidential race (on both sides)? Their incompetence must be off the charts.

  9. Dan- you sound like you are part of the vast right wing conspiracy…no worries, I’m a proud member myself 🙂

    This has that 2014 52CD primary stink to it…people will make their choices, bash the others for having made theirs, and life will go on. Those now touting their “conservative street creds” and standing on “principle” against Trump are many of the same that were bashing you, me and other conservatives for not embracing the “New Generation” as they themselves completely ignored GOP stated platform and time honored conservative tenets to get their guy across the finish line. ..politics and their proponents are fickle.

    This too shall pass!

  10. Possibly. But her limited means–nothing like The Donald’s; he’s “really rich”–prevented her from sending her own research team. Only The Donald’s team of investigative fellow-winners were able to excavate “incredible things.”

    Now the world waits with bated breath to see the Cruz/Oswald connection exposed!

  11. Ryan’s Friend:

    You may be his friend, but you’re encouraged to select a name that would easily apply to any comment you post, even if not in reply to Ryan.

  12. Wow ! obvious Ryan fears what ‘Pres. Trump’ would do.
    but I have one comment and one question. –
    to quote Ryan – …”Donald Trump, on the other hand, offers no explanation for his quick and convenient transformation…”
    (1) quick transformation. I was pretty liberal up to May 24, 2009 as my friends in my Toastmasters group could attest. Transformation ensued that day. I went from apathetic liberal to liberal American patriot. They certainly noticed the difference. so a ‘gradual transformation’ isn’t always accurate.
    question – regarding all the powerful and well known conservatives in America who have stated that Trump would be extremely dangerous and should never be president – I want to know what they know .
    How would ‘Pres. Trump’ destroy this country ? They need to let us all know so we can make an educated decision.
    Pres Obama promised to fundamentally transform ‘destroy’ our country and he has been quite successful. Yet no one is remotely concerned about that. Why?
    He just needs another 8 months to complete his mission. But even he knows he has been a ‘bad ‘ boy and afraid of a President Trump, since on 5/6/16, he signed an executive order giving him and his entire cabinet executive immunity after they leave office.
    Again – what should we be afraid of with Trump. don’t just say he is a liberal and just like Hillary. Inquiring minds want to know.

  13. Still no one but Mr. Rider wants to address the reality that we live in California. There is no reason for anyone here to vote for Trump only because you believe him better than Hillary. If you are not pleased with how the GOP has created a candidate like Trump, then it makes no sense not to vote for an alternative and make a statement.

    You are not helping Hillary win in any way, shape, or form by not voting for Trump. And guess what Trump supporters, your vote in the general is in no way helping him win. So there. We may all disagree, but we are united in our irrelevancy.

  14. Not the only one, Leah. As a former electoral college selectee who stayed home that day when the Al Gore selectees went and cast ballots for him, nothing in this state has changed. A vote against Trump here is just as meaningless as a vote for him. There are, however, many meaningful down ballot races.

  15. Todd,

    What does that have to do with anything?

    Obamacare is not primarily about a tax increase, but about taking away people’s doctors and health insurance plans, and increasing the cost of the remaining plans.

  16. We are Republicans. We fall in line. The base has spoken. By not supporting Trump, party elites risk erosion of party discipline among the base.

  17. Few things to remember

    1. Ronald Reagan was a Democrat until his early 50’s
    2. Gary Johnson smokes pot every day
    3. Ross Perot gave us the Clintons
    4. Ronald Reagan said that if you are 80% my friend, you are an ally
    5. As the last Speaker to balance a budget, Newt will be great VP

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