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Friday, April 20, 2018

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#NeverTrump means never for true conservatives


For months now, I have been silently dreading the possibility that Donald Trump would be the nominee of the Republican Party — and the unknown accompanying that.

Tuesday night confirmed my fears as the GOP’s last hope of stopping the real estate mogul faded away.

Most Republicans are probably slowly coming to terms with having a nominee run against someone he once donated money to.

I’ve known the answer for a long time: #NeverTrump truly means never.

Trump represents everything I have fought during my life — no matter how short — to quell. I have always been a Republican, since those in power have (sort of) represented how I believe this nation should be run and governed.

With the recent events in our party, I have realized that I am a conservative first and a Republican second.

I am not beholden to any political party. I am beholden to the constitutional principles, the free market values and the idea of individual independence that make a conservative, well, a conservative. And the Republican Party, along with Trump, has left me and many others out in the rain without a presidential nominee who represents us.

We are alone.

Trump is not a conservative. Far from it, he is closer to Bernie Sanders in ideology. He is a protectionist who is completely against free trade. He wants to get government more involved in the lives of Americans. He wants to tax the wealthy more than everyone else.

He does not represent me.

Over the years, Donald Trump has been a liberal’s liberal, openly supporting things like abortion, gun control, a single-payer healthcare system — like Scotland and Canada — and a tax on the wealthy to keep Social Security afloat. For those of you uninitiated in conservative politics, these positions make us cry.

Trump supporters: He’s playing you.

For those of you thinking it: Yes, Reagan was a liberal for many years, but then he had a decades-long transformation into, as many believe, the father of conservatism. Donald Trump most likely voted for Obama in 2008 and criticized Mitt Romney in 2012 for being too harsh on immigration.

This is the man who is supposedly leading the conservative movement.

Trump has continuously promised the moon during this campaign season. He has said he would build a wall with Mexico and make them pay for it, which is an utterly nonsensical statement that holds no weight once its hyperbolic nature wears off. He has said he will make America great again while proposing average policies that have been tried and have resulted in what we see today.

He has said he has the best words and I can tell you, as an English major, he does not even crack an elementary-school level. He promises to destroy ISIS and claims to know how to defeat them, but upon inspection, he has absolutely no idea.

Trump is not a magician. He is the man selling the snake oils.

In 2008 and 2012 — and still to this day — Barack Obama had a certain aura about him, a cult of personality. He had an unmistakable infallibility that conservatives, such as myself, despised because it was about him and not his beliefs. If you look at Republicans now, they have fallen into the same haze of thinking. They worship Trump, and his ego thrives on it. This is not a man who represents conservative values.

#NeverTrump is not a catchy saying that meant something once. It means I will never vote for a man who thinks himself a demigod and can barely say he’s a conservative.

Come at me Trumpsters and call me a RINO — a word you clearly don’t understand. Tell me how I’m helping Hillary win, when in fact, it is the way The Donald has presented himself over this election cycle. I would rather lose as a man who stuck to the core conservative values that made this country great rather than win as a man who lost his soul.

#NeverTrump means never.

Opinion columnist Jorden Smith is a political science junior and president of the College Republicans. He can be reached at [email protected]

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