Of NeverChumps and Magaphobes

Two suggested additions to our political taxonomy.

We’re familiar with the “NeverTrumper.” He’s a public person on the Right whose principles are ever-so-refined. Somehow, though, in the refining process, those principles finally coalesced around blind resentment of a single individual. The NeverTrumper is a curiosity of the current moment in time. One day he’ll end up as a possible wrong answer on multiple-choice quizzes about defunct political movements. (“Mugwump” will likely be the correct selection.)

Of lasting importance, by contrast, is another less-prominent figure. I propose that we christen him the “NeverChumper.” “NeverTrumpers” have some prominence, but I believe the “NeverChumper” is far more common—indeed, almost ubiquitous—and far more influential.

The NeverChumper may or may not be a classic conservative in his beliefs. If he is, he may be more social than economic—or vice versa. In any case, though, he’s an opponent of the progressive agenda. In fact, being a sincere opponent of the progressive agenda is precisely what has made him a skeptic of the oldline GOP leadership and conservative intellectuals.

If he’s old enough to have voted for McCain in 2008, a NeverChumper is an American who’s been disappointed repeatedly. He’s cheered for eloquent opponents of the Left, only to find that their passion, so strong when fundraising or campaigning, swiftly fades when any opportunity for decisive action arises. He has invested votes, donations, and hope, in a party which showed no reciprocal commitment. Somewhere along the way, he tired of being taken for granted. Perhaps he voted for Trump in 2016 merely as an act of defiance.

If so, he’s been pleasantly surprised—even joyously shocked—at the president’s actual achievements. He’s seen the GOP pontificate about, then neglect, the same issues in the past. He looks back with chagrin at his own former naiveté—and when Trump has left the stage, he’ll demand a successor with similar commitment to opposing the Left and counterpunching against the media.

If he’s a younger voter, though, it’s likely the NeverChumper has never been a “chump” at all. He’s grown up in an educational environment openly hostile to him, and doesn’t remember a Left any milder or more civil than today’s. He has no fond memories of former collegiality, whether at college (where conservatives now often fear to voice their opinions) or anywhere else. He was exposed to Leftist indoctrination. It failed and instead became inoculation against the credulousness previous generations had concerning the media and the rest of the opposition.

NeverChumpers of either variety are pragmatic folks. They’re distinctive on the current political scene because they do not romanticize racial identity—neither their own, or that of any other. A NeverChumper considers the race card to be the Joker in the deck; it’s not part of any game he’s playing and he ignores it.

We can only hope the NeverChumper will shape our politics for decades to come.

Now, for his counterpart on the Left. There is much talk of “TDS,” or “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” but I predict that TDS will turn out to have been a misnomer. In the post-Trump era, the derangement of the Left will not fade. Thus I propose, using their own style of locution and rename the opponents currently obsessed with the destruction of Trump “Magaphobes.”

A “phobia,” of course, is an irrational, paralyzing fear. A phobia might simply be explained as “the kind of intense fear which so-called ‘ homophobes’ do not feel regarding gays, nor ‘Islamophobes’ regarding Moslems.”

A “Magaphobe,” on the other hand, really does have a paralyzing fear. It’s the fear of “making America great again.”

Greatness of any distinctly American sort instantly maddens him. That’s true whether it’s carved in the marble of a heroic statue, enshrined in a record of historical achievement, reluctantly admitted in a news report about a current trend—or worst of all, radiating from the brilliance and truth of any of our Republic’s founding ideals.

Magaphobes will prove, in five years, that Trump wasn’t that big a deal after all, because they aren’t going to calm down. No single bogeyman drives them to distraction. Instead, it’s the reality of our great nation they struggle to repudiate, and undo.

Will they succeed?

That might depend on whether we revert to being Chumps.

Ode to the “NeverChumper”

A mysterious man is abroad in our land—
To the media, a riddle; a stumper.
They call him all sorts of indelicate things—
But I call him the “NeverChumper.”

Some of the NeverChumps
(Like myself) are old grumps,
Who’ve cast aside Grand Old illusions
And aim to prevent our own establishment
From indulging in cozy collusion.

Others never were chumps.
They have taken their lumps
Growing up ‘neath the Progressive heel—

With their newfangled memes and nefarious schemes,
How they do make the media squeal!

Come, ye punks and curmudgeons
Damn Antifa’s bludgeons!
Let the media scolds be ignored—
We won’t be dismayed; we’re done being betrayed,
And we’ll see our Republic restored.

About Joe Long

Joe Long lives in Cayce, South Carolina. He holds a master's degree in history from Georgia College and State University. His book, Wisdom and Folly: A Book of Devotional Doggerel, was published in 2020. He has a very patient wife, five homeschooled children, and a job.

Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images Reportage

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