Among the vast numbers who oppose Trump, those who are libertarian or conservative have often – as I have – signaled that opposition as part of Never Trump. (On Twitter, this is often written with a hashtag, as #NeverTrump.)
Funny, but even after years since Never Trump began (and many of us were opposed to him from the beginning), there’s a reflex among some to insist that Never Trump needs to concede, relent, and acquiesce to this new order in America.
A reply from Tom Nichols on Twitter, to a tweet from the self-described ‘Reagan Batallion’ sets one straight on what opposition to Trump means:
The Reagan Batallion, 8:20 AM – 9 Oct 2018:
‘Never’ automatically expired on Election Day when Trump won, most of us can accept fact. We praise him when he does good, and criticize him when he does the opposite.
Tom Nichols, 10:09 PM – 9 Oct 2018:
This is not what “Never Trump” means, at least to me. To me it means: rejecting the basis of how Trump governs, even when it accidentally produces outcomes I might otherwise like. That’s like accepting an abusive partner or friend because they’re nice every few weeks.
Nichols understands what never means. It means never accepting a bigoted autocratic grifter: never before, never now, never in the future. A civilized man or woman would not accept the Know Nothings, Confederates, Copperheads, Klan, or Bund even if (as they occasionally did) they had moments of political (or military) success.
Acceptance of wickedness isn’t maturity, it’s appeasement of evil.
Never means never.