Sign at the Rally for ACA (Obamacare), February 26, 2017, Asheville, NC
Most of us in the Resistance — though we largely lean to the left — have come to accept never-Trump conservatives as part of our movement. A few of them — Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, and Robert Mueller (a Republican appointed by George W. Bush after 9/11 and whose decisions often have leaned conservative) — have become like heroes to many of us “lefties.” That’s because we recognize that, while we may not always agree with their Republican politics, these are men and women of integrity and morals, people who believe in the rule of law and the Constitution as it was written by the Founding Fathers (and not as the Kochs and Mercers would like to rewrite it to benefit only themselves and their oligarch cronies). These people, because they possess morals and ethics, never hopped aboard the Trump Train. They never caved to the pressure to vote for Trump in the 2016 election just because he had an R after his name, because they recognized that Trump was neither a conservative or a liberal, but something else altogether — something alien and threatening: a radical disrupter of the American way. So, most of these conservatives wound up either not voting, or voting for Hillary Clinton — as both Bushes and many other Republicans did.
While we liberals (actually, I’m not that far left — I’m just left of center) may not agree with conservatives on specific partisan issues (how to best handle the economy, government spending, the social safety net, and cultural issues), what we have in common with the Never-Trump conservatives is a strong belief that democracy is the system that has always worked best, that checks and balances are necessary to keep a democracy in healthy working order, and that a free press and freedom of speech is absolutely necessary to avoid falling prey to despotic or authoritarian leadership. We also all agree that Trump is a clear and present danger both to our democracy, and to our national security. All of us understand that he is attempting to destroy the institutions and the checks and balances that have kept us (until recently) the leader of the free world. We also recognize his potential danger to the world. We have always known he was unfit to serve in any capacity where he is responsible for life and death issues affecting millions of innocent people.
There are, unfortunately, still some holdouts in the resistance who are distrustful or antagonistic of anyone with an R after their name, even when it’s evident they have never supported the Trump regime and may even be extremely opposed to it. Now is not the time for people on the left to be purists. It’s bad enough when I see infighting among different factions on the left (or really, anything to the left of center-right): Hillary and Bernie supporters are STILL fighting with each other. WHY? Neither is sitting in the White House today. But some of the hardcore Bernie supporters still seem to feel like Hillary would have been worse than Donald Trump — that’s how much they hated Hillary. I see a similar refusal of some people on the left to accept Never-Trump conservatives as part of the Resistance, but again, we can’t afford to be political purists, and we need all the support we can get, even if we disagree on specific issues.
I do understand the reluctance, because it’s kind of strange and surreal for someone who has always voted for liberal or Democratic candidates to look at someone who always voted straight Republican until the 2016 election as an ally. But in times like these, when a strong resistance is necessary to help bring down the cabal of sociopaths currently running our government, we all must change our ways of thinking and be more inclusive, even of those whose politics may normally be vastly different from ours. We must set aside the temptation to be political purists because purism is for more peaceful, stable times, not for times like these.
If we reject Trump and believe in our system of checks and balances, then it makes no difference whether we are Democrat, Independent, Green, Libertarian, or Republican — at the end of the day, we are all on the same side and we need to stick together and fight to save our country from the claws of fascism and tyranny. It’s the Trumpists who will never be able to join us, and together, we far outnumber them.
If you’re a conservative reading this who hates Trump, don’t be shy! Don’t be afraid to attend our rallies, meetings, marches, and comment on our social media posts. We’re not all the scary dreadlocked and tattooed radical lefties you might think we are. That we’re all anything-goes anarchists, closet Commies, or Antifa members is a myth the right wing media wants you to believe.
The reality is most of us are just regular folks with regular jobs, kids, grandkids, and we may even go to church. Many of us are older or even retired. We just don’t want America to turn into something we don’t recognize. In fact, it could be said we’re the real conservatives, because we want to conserve the values America has always stood for, instead of the sordid and un-American values Trumpism represents.