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Anyone that paid attention to the last four years was able to ascertain that the so-called “Never Trump” movement went far beyond Trump. While his personality faults and general lack of decorum provided the perfect foil, the angst against a certain segment of the Republican Party was long-standing. Trump just happened to bring that segment to the fore. In a phrase, it wasn’t that they just hated Trump the person, it was that they hated Trump because he represented a populism they couldn’t stand.
Instead of recognizing the previous failures of the GOP and making the necessary adjustments to satisfy a discontented base, Trump allowed Never Trump to place all the blame on a single man while they absolved themselves of all responsibility for why Trump came onto the scene in the first place.
But now that Trump is leaving the scene (at least as the president), the rush is on to shift back into the lovable, loser minority that so pushed away GOP voters in the first place. Take this article from The Dispatch as an example.
What exactly did Mr. Hayes think was going to happen? Did he really expect Joe Biden to be a unifying leader that works fairly with the opposing party while shunning the worst instincts of his own? The end game was always that Biden gets elected and then goes full metal leftist. That’s not really the point of my writing here today, though. Those that actively urged people to vote for Joe Biden obviously own the results. They don’t get to weasel out of that be pretending they had no choice. You vote for Democrats, you get Democrats in charge. That’s just how it goes.
It’s really the turn on a dime that is being attempted by some of these Never Trump outlets that will bother people the most, likely because all it does is affirm all the worst aspects of the GOP. Republicans love to be in the minority. It allows them to write scathing op-eds and accomplish nothing in Washington while holding onto the excuse that they just lack the power needed to act. This shift by The Dispatch shows impeccable timing. The moment the GOP is out of power, they are back to bringing out the long knives for Democrats. Yet, they couldn’t be counted on to provide that kind of commentary when it would have actually mattered.
To turn another phrase, this is how you got Trump. It wasn’t that people loved his potty mouth. It was that he was willing to take the fight to Democrats when there were actually gains to be made, not just when it was most lucrative as a do-nothing minority with no power. No doubt, you’ll see the tone shift against Biden now, but what good does that do once he’s already elected? It’ll drive clicks the next few years, I suppose, but the time to point out that Biden wasn’t going to unify anybody was several months ago, not today. Anyone acting surprised by the left-wing push with this new coronavirus proposal is kidding themselves. We knew all this was coming a long time ago.
Regardless, I doubt most Republican voters will be too keen to welcome some of these commentators and their outlets back into the fold. Of course, it helps when a lefty billionaire pours money into your operation.