“NevertRump” is SO 2016 – I’m Just a Conservative

It never fails… one word of opposition in a political group, I’m labeled. If I bear a tone of negativity during a discussion about the (current) president, epithets flow. And the most egregious: if I share a link from an actual news organization, I’m branded a “sheeple.”

How ironic.

For the last 18 months, a scarlet hashtag of political exile has become my Château d’If; I am called “nevertrump,” as though I’m a gentile in a land of puritans.

But seriously, the election was nearly a year ago. The height of the #NevertRump movement was last summer, and frankly, it’s SO 2016 – find a new line.

Give me a hyphenated label if you wish, or call me the opposition. But still, I’m just me: a conservative.

And so are millions of others. Including those who held their nose, closed their eyes, tore off their nametags and quietly voted for the most evil of two lessers last November. We are all STILL conservatives,  even if we criticize the president. And refusing to tow the line and “respect the president” after eight years of unified oppugnancy does not make us the polar opposite of our lifelong convictions. We aren’t “liberals” because we speak up for the same principles we once stood for on capitol lawns and in town halls across the country.

I called Obama – scratch that – YOU called Obama “arrogant,” a “liar,” “authoritarian,” and “secretive.” Now, each of those things are ok, because… “GORSUCH!”

How far we’ve come from the simplicity of the original Tea Party Movement. Now, being a consistent conservative is tantamount to being a Democrat. I’ve been called a traitor, and I bet you have too. Some days, it’s easier to be conservative at Berkeley than in a group of trumpublicans.

I have always been a conservative because of the beliefs that fall under its umbrella: small government, personal responsibility, federalism, republican representation, a moral society.

It was never defined by a single man, nor a single party. It wasn’t prescribed by my single mother as she raised me (she’s more moderate than I am), nor did my friends impress their philosophy upon me (I spent my formative years in Portland, OR). I am a conservative because it is my conviction. Therefore, why must I redefine it because of something less significant? He’s just a man.

Whether Donald Trump finishes four years, is impeached after the midterms or resigns sooner (please?), he will one day disappear.  Perhaps some other equally divisive figure will arise, but generally, such populists only come around every 40 or 50 years.

But conservatism is timeless. The principles that this nation were founded on are at least 400 years old. They will never go away,  because human nature is to progress, and conservatism works.

If my intellectual consistency, which occasionally pits me against even fellow conservatives in debate, gives you heartburn, that’s ok. It’s making it a personal attack and rhetorical fistfight that bores me. I get along more with my liberal friends at times because there are no pretenses. We debate methods more than results, and can usually move onto funny movie references or sports talk while “Tea Parties United” folks are still wishing for Senator McCain’s early death or screaming about procedural terms they never knew about before 2014, like “cloture.”


I understand that some of my conservative brethren made a decision to quietly support Trump against Hillary a year ago, even though I thought it was the wrong choice. Millions of us could not do so. But, saying I have an obligation to support this president after years of opposing a liberal one is ridiculous. I haven’t changed. While Trump was still a registered Democrat, donating to Harry Reid, Kamala Harris, and Chuck Schumer, and declaring Democrats as better stewards of the economy, I was the same as I am now: a constitutional conservative.

And I will be in every election forward.

I’m not #NevertRump anymore. That was then. I’m #NeverDishonest with myself. Im consistent. I’m a conservative.  The question should be, after all this, are you?

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Ed Willing

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