The Hypocrisy of the Never Trumpets
Stopping the train wreck that is Hillary Clinton and her Democrats will at least give us some breathing room.
By Tim Dunkin -- Bio and Archives
May 6, 2016
Now that Donald Trump has effectively done the unthinkable and secured the Republican nomination for the presidency, things are about to get a lot more interesting. One of these things will be seeing just how obsessive and off-the-wall the self-proclaimed #NeverTrumpers will get. From their oaths to actively support and vote for Hillary Clinton to their erstwhile plans to move to Canada, the tantrum-throwing is going to be entertaining, to say the least.
Some of them – many of them – will probably follow Mary Matalin, the ACELA-corridor pseudo-conservative “strategist” who moved today to change her party affiliation from the Republicans to the Libertarians. Now, if I were a registered Republican, I would say, “Good riddance!” However, since I’m not, I’ll leave it to the GOP base – who are despised by people like Matalin anywise – to say it for me.
However, things like this really help to demonstrate the hypocrisy of many of these Never Trumpers. And, really, the entire movement runs on hypocrisy like a car runs on gas.
Have you ever noticed how many of these prominent “conservative” pundits and other inside-the-beltway hacks who swear up and down that they won’t vote for Trump since he’s not a “real conservative” are themselves…not all that conservative? Take Jonah Goldberg, who has made the #NeverTrump movement his personal obsession. Last year, he was trying to convince us all to buy his “conservative case for gay marriage.” And then you have Andrew Sullivan, described by The Atlantic as a “pioneering advocate of gay marriage.”
And, of course, you have all the “pro-life” Never Trumpers in the DC circle who proclaim that “abortion is murder,” but then send the confusing signal that abortion isn’t actually murder, since the murderer is a “victim” (despite it being elective around 99 out of 100 times) and shouldn’t face any consequences herself. Among the Never Trumpers that I know personally are folks who cheered the Supreme Court’s Obergefell ruling, who publicly supported allowing gays to serve openly in the military, people who think we need “reasonable, common sense” gun control, and of course, all of them to a man are pro-open borders, pro-amnesty, and pro-multiculturalism.
If those are the “conservatives,” then I don’t want any part of their “conservatism.” The great irony is that if Trump is really as “pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-gun” as they say he is, he ought to be right up their alley. Seriously, he should be their first choice, right?
So you have people like Mary Matalin and others joining the Libertarians, which is itself sort of an act of hypocrisy.
They profess that they can’t support Trump because he is “pro-gay” and “pro-abortion,” so they leave the GOP to join a political party which is…(wait for it)…pro-gay and pro-abortion.
Further, what to make of prominent Never Trumper Ben Sasse (R-NE), who is starting to face increasing scrutiny as to whether he used his position as a tutor to help cover up for pedophiles like Dennis Hastert and Mark Foley when they were abusing underage young men through the congressional page program. Whatever else Trump may have done in his life, facilitating pedophilic abuse of young men isn’t one of them.
Even aside from the social issues, these folks don’t really have a clue. Take Matalin, who gives her reasoning for joining the Libertarians as being that they more closely represent the “Jeffersonian, Madisonian sense” that she feels is being lost. This is a common sentiment among so-called “economic liberty” types who refuse to support Trump because he supports protectionism and opposes open borders (which libertarians support based upon the spurious and unworkable principle that “free people should cross borders freely”).
But, wait a second. The Founders were protectionists. The second bill signed by George Washington was a bill raising tariffs, which had been authored by James Madison. While he may have found Adam Smith’s free trade ideas intriguing, Thomas Jefferson still supported protection (especially after the War of 1812), and was himself not actually a big fan of our “modern” style of industrial, wage-earning capitalism (he preferred a more agrarian, “country gentleman” style of economic system, and called wage-earning for industrial capitalists “wage slavery.”) Even Alexander Hamilton – about the closest thing the Founding generation had to the sort of technocratic, industrial capitalist that is lionized by today’s modern libertarians – was a strong proponent of protectionism, even saying at one point,
“The superiority antecedently enjoyed by nations who have preoccupied and perfected a branch of industry, constitutes a more formidable obstacle than either of those which have been mentioned, to the introduction of the same branch into a country in which it did not before exist. To maintain, between the recent establishments of one country, and the long-matured establishments of another country, a competition upon equal terms, both as to quality and price, is, in most cases, impracticable. The disparity, in the one, or in the other, or in both, must necessarily be so considerable, as to forbid a successful rivalship, without the extraordinary aid and protection of government.”
Later, the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, said, “Give us a protective tariff, and we will have the greatest nation on earth.”
So Matalin simply doesn’t know what she’s talking about (a common affliction among the DC “intelligentsia” who typically have large vocabularies, but small ideas). In point of fact, the sort of unhindered free trade system that the Libertarians want to “return” us to has never actually existed. Not here, not anywhere, not ever. Nor should it. As we’ve seen, “free” trade is really nothing more than a ruse to enrich a relatively few globalist bigwigs while deleting national borders and “equalizing” wage scales with the poorest Third World countries so as to destroy a prosperous and healthy Middle Class. Don’t take my word for it, either. Karl Marx himself gave that as his reason for supporting free trade, when he gave a speech before the Democratic Association of Brussels in 1849,
“Moreover, the protectionist system is nothing but a means of establishing large-scale industry in any given country, that is to say, of making it dependent upon the world market, and from the moment that dependence upon the world market is established, there is already more or less dependence upon free trade. Besides this, the protective system helps to develop free trade competition within a country. Hence we see that in countries where the bourgeoisie is beginning to make itself felt as a class, in Germany for example, it makes great efforts to obtain protective duties. They serve the bourgeoisie as weapons against feudalism and absolute government, as a means for the concentration of its own powers and for the realization of free trade within the same country.
“But, in general, the protective system of our day is conservative, while the free trade system is destructive. It breaks up old nationalities and pushes the antagonism of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie to the extreme point. In a word, the free trade system hastens the social revolution. It is in this revolutionary sense alone, gentlemen, that I vote in favor of free trade.”
As we can see, Marx was not a fan of protectionism, which he felt was a means used by the middle classes (i.e. his “bourgeoisie”) to strength the nation internally and develop large-scale industry. He gave his tactical support to free trade, on the other hand, specifically because that trade scheme “breaks up old nationalities” and hastens the “social revolution” by concentrating wealth more quickly into the hands of a very small number of hands at the very top, while leaving everyone else behind, and thus supposedly more open to communist revolution. Marx approved of free trade, in part, because it served to destroy the nation-state and hastened the uniting of the world into one global body, which is a goal of revolutionary communism.
This, when you think about it, isn’t too dissimilar from the goals of those open-borders, “free people can cross borders freely” types like Matalin’s Libertarians.
That so many of the Churchianity-type Christians in the Never Trump movement are proposing a move to the Libertarians is also another type of hypocrisy, even aside from the total incompatibility between the social issues they profess to stand for “on principle” and the Libertarian Party’s goals and worldview.
The Libertarians are essentially what you have when Ayn Rand starts her own political party. And that’s not a good thing. Let’s face it – Ayn Rand was, in many ways, a nut. Most of today’s “conservatives” know of her because of the handful of fine-sounding quotes from her that get spread around the internet, while some others still have a nostalgia for her from back in their college days when they read the Cliff’s Note for Atlas Shrugged. Nevertheless, Ayn Rand’s Objective philosophy, while superficially “liberty-oriented,” ought to be completely off the table for anyone professing any sort of serious Christian faith, both because of its atheism and because of its purposeful callousness towards the poor and its rejection of the validity even of private charity. And yet, the Libertarians are wormy through and through with Objectivists, always have been and always will be.
Fact of the matter is, all those Christians out there who fetishize libertarian-style “economic liberty” are essentially double-minded, trying to have Christ and Mammon at the same time. This is not, of course, to say that the Bible teaches socialism or communism – it doesn’t – but Christians who think they can have Jesus and Ayn Rand contemporaneously are deluded, at best, and ignorantly compromising at worst.
“If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down.” (Exodus 22:25-26)
Can you see any libertarian being willing to help a poor brother out with an interest-free loan designed to help them get back on their feet, instead of making money off of them? Me neither.
“And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.” (Leviticus 25:35-37)
Wait, you mean we’re supposed to help the poor by “relieving” them, not charging them usury, not taking advantage of the situation? Hint – that’s what people in early America did all the time, taking care of the poor and indigent within their own communities, without having to rely on “government welfare.” In fact, “welfare” arose as a way used by the government to replace private and community-based voluntarism toward the poor.
“Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth! In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.” (Isaiah 5:8-10)
You mean God pronounces woe upon them who use their wealth and power to accrue to themselves more and more land, houses, etc. (i.e., the modes of wealth in that society at that time)? Yet, libertarian-style economic liberty says, “Go for it! Get as much as you can, everyone else be jiggered!” True, Donald Trump could stand to learn this lesson too. But, as the Never Trumpers are wont to remind us, Trump has never presented himself as a serious, committed Bible-believing Christian, either.
“The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.” (I Samuel 2:7)
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75:6-7)
Hunh? You mean wealth and poverty have a lot to do with God’s working and His plans, rather than “pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps” through our own virtue and hard work, as we like to pride ourselves in?
“Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” (Galatians 2:10)
“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (I John 3:17)
“For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.” (Romans 15:26)
“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” (James 2:15-16)
Oh, my. I don’t think Ayn would approve.
Yet, that’s what these professing Christians are yoking themselves up with, whether out of ignorance or out of foolishness.
Look, I can understand why folks find Donald Trump to be distasteful. I find him so myself, as well. Indeed, I’ve openly stated my preference for another spokesman for the movement of which he is currently the figurehead. But you can wish in one hand and pour water in the other and see which one gets filled first. Fact is, he won the primaries because more Republicans and independents voted for him than they did for any of the other candidates. You can’t be the people who called for a ticked off base to “rally ‘round” someone like Mitt Romney or John McCain in 2012 and 2008, and yet take your toys and run crying to your mommies now, without being a hypocrite.
And, yes, if you do so, you really are supporting Hillary Clinton. You – the “principled conservative” who won’t vote for Trump because he’s “pro-gay, pro-abortion, doesn’t talk about the Constitution” are essentially voting for Hillary…who is pro-gay, pro-abortion, hates the Constitution, and a whole lot more.
Oh, and spare me the “voting against Trump is not voting for Hillary” rationalizations. I can do math, people. When you have a limited number of something (i.e. votes) in a bipolar system (and let’s face it, third parties – even the vaunted Libertarians – are a non-starter), not matching a vote that one candidate gets with a vote for the other candidate is essentially giving that first candidate a free, unmatched vote, i.e. helping them to win. And I’m going to be devastatingly straight with you - if your principles include helping to elect Hillary…then your principles are worthless.
None of the candidates in this race could ever have “saved America” – not Trump, not Cruz, not Rubio, not any of them. But, throwing a temper tantrum definitely isn’t going to do anything to help this country in the long run. Stopping the train wreck that is Hillary Clinton and her Democrats will at least give us some breathing room.