#NeverTrump is the new hashtag sweeping the social media channels of Conservative and Republican columnists, consultants and media types. It is a general pronouncement that, based on what has been seen, read and heard about Donald Trump, that there is no way you could or should ever vote for him.
I get it. The KKK dodge is merely the latest example. In this interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Trump claims he did not disavow David Duke and the KKK because he had a bad earpiece and could not hear. Yet he responded to a question he could not hear by referencing David Duke and white supremacists not once, not twice but three times.
We have a highly technical term for this in politics. It is called a lie. It is a Trump tower sized pile of bat guano and an amazing display of weakness to not directly and strongly respond to a question about the KKK. Trump should show his strength immediately by not only clearly and unequivocally disavowing David Duke, the KKK and white supremacists, but he should tell us why their views are despicable and wrong, why he believes them to be wrong, and why American leadership can never be associated with those views. He should say he’s sorry and show some strength.
On the face of it, it is easy to understand why people hear this stuff and say they would never vote for Donald Trump. As a Southerner who has fought most of his life to shake the stench of racism off my home and, consequently, off of myself, it makes me especially angry.
So, #NeverTrump, right? I can’t go there yet. Because this election is about a lot more than Donald Trump and the things he says.
We have three co-equal branches of government. Trump is running for my party’s nomination to lead one of them. But there is a high likelihood that the newly elected president will have the opportunity to put as many as three justices on the US Supreme Court. Conservatives should think about that. The legacy of President Hillary Clinton could be a 6-3 liberal majority on the US Supreme Court for 20 years.
Think of the damage a 6-3 majority could do to many causes conservatives care deeply about. Human Life. Religious Freedom. The Second Amendment. Privacy.
This is not about who might be president for the next four years. It’s what America might look like for the next forty years if Hillary Clinton becomes president.
It is no secret that, personally, I prefer some candidates to others. I’ll make that known at the ballot box in Virginia on March 1.
But to say, today, that I will never vote for Donald Trump is a bridge too far. I believe that some of our most cherished freedoms, even people’s lives are at stake in the outcome of this presidential election. I care more about these things than who our next president is.
Thankfully, I have until November to see who comes out on top of our nominating process and what my choice has to be. Until then, with what is at stake, I’d prefer not to paint myself in a corner. The long term consequences of that act are simply too serious.