It’s been over five years now since Donald Trump surprised many by winning the 2016 presidential election. Yet in many ways, the hate for him—especially in his own party—has never seemed stronger.
One could perhaps have excused Republicans for detesting him back in 2016. He was, after all, an unknown quantity, an outsider of questionable conservative pedigree. Indeed, Donald Trump had been a typical New York liberal Democrat for much of his life. And he had led a less than stellar moral life.
But the Never Trump movement seems stronger than ever, detesting everything about Trump, rather than seeing virtue and vice mixed together. What accounts for such behavior? One possibility is that Trump is not a member of what Angelo M. Codevilla describes as the “ruling class,” the cultural elites who have become too detached from what the middle and working class think and feel.
Never Trumpers go under many labels—including Globalists, neo-Cons, or, perhaps more wittily, the “Daveoisie” who frequent Davos meetings. These individuals reside in higher-level positions in government, academia, the media, and other places, essentially composing an extra-constitutional elite system.
The ruling class believe themselves of superior cultural, moral, and intellectual temperament; they view with disdain the unwashed living in the vast swaths between the coasts and feel entitled to rule these Americans. Although superficially embracing democracy, the elites prefer government by experts—or, as it may occur, judges—and reject the elected branches unless, of course, the elected leaders deliver the proper outcome. These elites are, in other words, progressives.
Ruling class elites place great faith in globalism and world government—what amounts to the New World Order. International bodies such as the European Union, the United Nations, and NATO are highly favored and critical to this globalist vision of the world.
The ruling class abhor primitive, tribal notions of nationhood, such as love of country, national culture, heritage, and sovereignty. Appalled by Brexit and efforts by Trump to “build a wall,” they embrace open immigration and amnesty while spurning borders. Some advocate policies that can loosely be described as “invade the world, invite the world.”
They support criminal justice reform, single-payer healthcare, and the Paris Climate Accords and maintain that Europe is better than America. Many are not particularly fond of religion or biblical values.
It is a single class that includes Democrats and Republicans. But the Democrats are the ranking members, and Republicans are subordinate. Democrats enjoy prestige and power. Their media organs are dominant, and they have cultural gravitas. Republicans do not: They seek acceptance and recognition but know that they serve at the pleasure of progressive superiors.
Republican ruling class members seek to preserve their lucrative media presence, affirmative pats on the head from leftist betters, and, of course, dinner invitations from liberal friends. They do this by promoting policies beloved by the left (especially on immigration). In this particular era, however, they have found a far better meal ticket to ensure continued membership in this exclusive club: denouncing Trump and everything he stands for, including those who voted for him.
Republican country clubbers recognize that Trump is, in effect, a giant middle finger from the deplorables to them and their liberal cocktail lounge comrades. Indeed, it is the failure of Republicans to enact promised policies (like defending our borders, ending Obamacare, and bringing back law and order) that drove voters to the outsider, anti-establishment Trump. It is from the ranks of this second tier of the ruling class that many, if not most, Never Trumpers arise.
We have long been burdened by “useful idiots,” a term referring to leftist intellectuals in the West sympathetic to Marxist Socialism, despite Marxism’s abysmal failures and atrocities. Now we have our “useful idiots” on the pseudo-right in the form of the Never Trumpers. These pearl-clutchers and malcontents, closet socialists, and soft progressives are every bit as bad as the leftist followers they once decried.
A version of this article originally appeared in The Western Journal.
Image credit: Flickr-Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.07 comments