I Was #NeverTrump. Now I’m Voting for the S.O.B. Here’s Why . . .


I never liked Donald Trump. Truth be told, I still don’t. That makes me an outlier here at American Greatness. For months on Facebook, my refrain has been, “I’m not gonna vote for the son of a bitch.” When a story would appear that put Trump in a somewhat more favorable light—his unapologetic endorsement of an America-first foreign policy, for example, or his Labor Day speech to the American Legion—I would nod, smile, then dig in and say, “I’m still not gonna vote for the son of a bitch.”

As recently as a week ago, I had planned to abstain from voting for president. It would have been an easy and relatively cost-free choice. I live in California. My vote doesn’t matter anyway.

Of course, my vote doesn’t matter any more today than it did a week ago. But I’m gonna vote for the son of a bitch, in spite of the fact.

What changed my mind? I do not believe Trump is a good man, much less a statesman. If we’re looking to Aristotle for guidance, Trump strikes me more as a “prosperous fool.” Of course, I may be wrong. Decius’s writings helped weaken my resolve, though I may beif anythingmore pessimistic than he is. And even Decius cautions (again and again, to the point that even a blind man couldn’t miss it) that Trump might or might not pave the way necessary to restore constitutional government. Trump is, at best, an imperfect vehicle. There are no guarantees.  

I am certain, however, that Hillary Clinton is a criminal. She is not just “wrong within the normal parameters.” She is thoroughly and irredeemably corrupt and has no business in the Oval Office.

It isn’t just the reckless and cavalier way she mishandled national security secrets as Secretary of State with her private, unsecure email server, although that’s bad enough. She almost certainly used her family’s bogus charitable foundation to enrich herself and her family at the expense of the national interest. There was the Russian uranium deal. The $28 million Morocco conference. Favors to the crooked Brothers Chagoury. Do not believe for a moment that she would not continue to do the same as president. For the Clintons, it’s all about the power and the money.

Because I was until recently outspokenly #NeverTrump, I understand why many of my friends would cast their votes for a third party candidate like Libertarian Gary Johnson or even the Green Jill Stein (who has said Trump is preferable to Clinton). But I do not understand so-called Republicans casting their lot with Clinton or Evan McMullin, the ex-CIA operator and “independent” conservative candidate nobody heard of before August and barely anyone knows now.

McMullin is nothing more than the candidate of Conservatism Inc. He had the mandate not of 13.3 million primary voters, but precisely four people: Bill Kristol, John Kingston, Joel Searby, and Rick Wilson—political operators all. McMullin is the candidate “for those who thought everything was fine,” except for the Republicans’ “tone.”  The GOP is right on the issues, McMullin told Byron York at the Washington Examiner last month. He just happens to think the Republican Party is irretrievably racist.

“We learned lessons after 2012 that we needed to appeal to [minority and younger voters], I don’t think by changing policy as much.” McMullin lists criminal justice reform, anti-poverty programs, and “general government reform” as possible winners. “But it’s a lot about tone.”

In reality, the entire point of McMullin’s campaign is to ensure Hillary Clinton becomes president. He says it’s to stop both Clinton and Trump from getting a majority of the electoral vote, but the practical effect is to clear the way for Hillary. Yet McMullin insists that he is also building a “new conservative movement.”

The most important thing the Republicans need to do, McMullin told York, is “to stand up for what we believe are true conservative principles in this election at a time when no one else is . . . That, at a very basic level, is what we’re doing.”

This is the conservatism of surrender. McMullinism, if it may be so called, is more of the same supine accommodation that got us into this mess in the first place. McMullin has carried a gun and killed in the service of his country. Yet he doesn’t understand that standing up for his “true conservative principles” will surely bring this country to its knees. How many more triumphs of “true conservative principle” can America endure before we’re completely ruined?

But as blinkered as the #NeverTrump position is, what finally pushed me into the S.O.B.’s column was the thoroughly hysterical response to Trump’s “closing argument” from the Left (and some on the “principled” Right).

Watch the ad. It repeats most of the themes Trump has discussed over the past year.

The response from the Left? “Donald Trump’s Closing Ad Has Anti-Semitic Overtones,” reported Huffington Post. (To cite just one example.)

“As Trump says ‘levers of power in Washington, we see footage of George Soros, a billionaire investor and philanthropist (sic). And when Trump says, ‘global special interests,’ Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen appears on screen,” HuffPo bleated.

“Both Soros and Yellen are Jewish.”

That did it. Evidently, criticizing the leftist currency manipulator George Soros is anti-Semitic. That’s the “argument” now. Criticizing the Federal Reserve is anti-Semitic because Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellin is Jewish. That’s the “argument” now.

For more than a year, Trump’s opponents have tried to tar him as a bigot, a racist, and an anti-semite. Among his sins: he “waited too long” and “seemed insincere” when he disavowed former Klansman David Duke’s endorsement. He said: “I disavow. OK?” He didn’t don the sackcloth and ashes. He wouldn’t play the mug’s game.

Enough of this. Snark will not do. Insinuation will not do. Conversation stoppers—“he’s a bigot,” “he’s a fascist”—absolutely will not do. “He’s a fascist” is not an argument. There can be no reasonable response. Over and over, reasonable people plead, “No, he’s not.” What they’re really saying is, “No, I’m not.” But who is listening? We’re called to be charitable. But what good is charity when the other side has made up its mind? The only fitting response is the middle finger. Or the back of the hand.

To defeat Clinton is to rebuke and repudiate a noxious premise. Race relations are arguably far worse today than they were eight year ago. This isn’t an accident or a coincidence. I see nothing particularly noble in my vote for Trump, except the possibility of humbling the people who see millions of their fellow Americans as bigots, racists, and boors.

I say again: she’s a criminal. If Clinton is elected president, she would still be a criminal. By virtue of her stated positions on campaign finance regulation, gun control, and war, it may be only a slight exaggeration to say she would violate her oath of office the very moment she utters it.

I don’t know if Trump can carry off what my friends and colleagues on these pages believe or hope he can.

But I do know what a Clinton victory would mean. “She will be the president of the few, enriched by the even fewer, while the many become poorer in goods and spirit,” Lewis Fein writes at The American Century. My sentiments exactly.

For me, it isn’t a matter of Trump winning. All that matters is she loses.

About Ben Boychuk

Ben Boychuk is managing editor of American Greatness. He is a former weekly syndicated columnist with Tribune Media, and a veteran of several publications, including City Journal, Investor's Business Daily, and the Claremont Review of Books. He lives in California.

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8 responses to “I Was #NeverTrump. Now I’m Voting for the S.O.B. Here’s Why . . .”

  1. Kudos to the author for his objectivity and discipline.

  2. Really nice essay. I don’ t dislike Trump as much, but this has terrific tone, especially re McMullen.

  3. Now is the Crash & Burn of the Determinist … the Deconstruction of the idiocy which is the “Right Side of History” argument. Thank God….and thank, more directly, what, in generations past, was called The Silent Majority in the Fly Over States for voting with both hearts & minds.

    No — despite the Media chorus which told us over and over again that a vote for Trump was a vote for Racism, for Sexism, for Cisgenderism, for Isolationism, for Anti-Globalism, Anti-Multiculturalism, Anti-Intellecutalism. Despite all the Talking Heads and their frowning words which emphasized that a vote for Trump was a vote for Rape, a vote for the Klan, a vote against Children & the Disabled & a very definite vote against both the Rainbow AND the Statue of Liberty (who otherwise would welcome “the tired, the poor, the huddled masses”). Despite that endless litany of lies which told us endlessly that if we wished to be On the Right Side of History we’d vote for the corrupt, Leftist, slow-national-suicide which was Hillary and the Anti-Americanism of the Democratic Platform — we didn’t listen.

    We didn’t listen in enough places and with enough passion to stun the Elite who insist (still!) — as Philosopher Kings — they really do know what is best for us and for this nation.

    They don’t. They never did. Nor do they now.

    Let us wake the Founders from their half-century slumber. Let us read the Constitution — and know it for the first time. Let us revive the Republic. Let us kill the corrupt stagnation which has veiled our vision. Past time to be what we truly can be…what we must be…what we are called to be: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the
    unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It
    is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us —
    that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for
    which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve
    that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall
    have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people,
    for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

  4. Powerful, Ben. I say that as someone who stayed anti-Trump to the end, and who cast his vote in Utah for McMullin, even though I completely agree with what you say above about him here, that he fit all the very worst stereotypes of GOPe to a tee. Lesser of three evils, and anything to keep me from voting HRC, was my thinking.

    I accept what abuse I take for that. Mainly, I just wanted to drop by and offer my congratulations to the whole AmGreatness crew, my favorite clutch of “type-four Trump Supporters” (Google it). A new stage begins, and I wish y’all the best in helping to steer our president-elect towards wisdom.

  5. The Saturday that the FBI reopened their investigation of the Clinton emails, I decided she probably didn’t have a chance, or else that the contest was even. I didn’t have to vote for Trump, but Clinton wouldn’t win anyway. I had my ballot, voting as absentee, because I work at the polls on Election Day. It was the day we took our training and I decided that getting my ballot in earlier than the last day would help out the BOE. So, taking a quick glance at a map of how the Electoral College looked likely to go, I voted my ballot and dropped it off the same day.

    I blame no one for voting for Trump in the general election. Because — see above. “I don’t know if Trump can carry off what my friends and colleagues on these pages believe or hope he can.” I hope he gets the important things done, restoring constitutional government as he sometimes promises. I understand why other friends voted for Clinton, because I am worried that Trump will get caught up in vengeance, wasting time and energy and losing this great chance of the next two years.

    • Trump can waste four years and he’ll still have done better than the criminal.