Election 2020 forecast: Liberals and Never Trump conservatives headed for a stormy breakup
When the split comes, you'll find you never really knew us. It will be like learning your best friend thinks people get COVID through 5G phone signals.
A message to progressives: I can’t wait for you to hate me again.
For the past five years, we have been locked in a passionate embrace of necessity, sharing our disdain for a simian chief executive. We have retweeted each other, crafted in-jokes, and brushed off our disagreements as irrelevant. Our common enemy has made for some very uncommon alliances.
But this week, the romance may be over. In fact, I hope it is.
If President Donald Trump loses his reelection bid, as expected, it will most likely be the end of the affair. If Democrats sweep back into the presidency and control of the U.S. Senate, I will go back to being a generic-label conservative, and you will be thrust into the arms of Joe Biden. We will once again argue about everything political, and we will often resort to intemperate attacks made in the throes of emotion. (The only issue on which I will willingly concede is that in the divorce, you get custody of Jennifer Rubin.)
We'll inevitably turn on each other
When the split between liberals and Never Trumpers is complete, you will find that you never really knew us. It will be like finding out your best friend thinks people get COVID through 5G phone signals, or believes in QAnon, or even worse, supports the designated hitter.
Over the past few weeks, you have likely seen hints that this breakup was coming. You may have been confused when I ridiculed Joe Biden after he suggested we help small businesses through the coronavirus epidemic by raising the minimum wage. Or when I gasped when Biden falsely claimed that nobody had lost their health care when the Affordable Care Act was implemented.
You no doubt felt horror as I salivated over the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the same way my dog does when I eat beef jerky. But hey, if there is one thing we Never Trumpers get out of the hellscape that has been the Trump years, it might as well be a solidly conservative Supreme Court. It isn’t hypocritical to acknowledge when a horrific person did a good thing — even Joseph Stalin was a world-class singer.
But when there is no more Trump to slap around, we will inevitaby turn on one another. You will begin babbling insane phrases like “packing the Supreme Court is justified,” and “the Green New Deal will save money.” In responding to your tweets, I will use the facepalm emoji so much my phone’s autocorrect will begin to replace every word I type with it.
If there is any consolation, I will not find any loving arms waiting for me on the right when Trump is gone. I will continue to point out former conservatives who sacrificed their dignity and reputation when they capitulated to Trump’s unconscionable behavior. The list is long of the weak-minded who boasted of their willingness to fall for every lunatic conspiracy theory in service of their leader. The ones who looked away as their lawless president violated every norm of decency, and who then had the temerity to scold traditional conservatives who warned that Trump’s illiberal brand would harm the party.
A painful breakup, unless Trump wins
Of course, the feeling is mutual, as Team Red Hat will continue to mock those who remained steadfast in opposition to Trump. They will accuse the Never Trumpers of carrying on a passionate affair with you progressives only so the cocktail party invitations, PAC checks and job offers keep flooding in.
But the joke is on them — nobody can attend cocktail parties or go to work because their president has so badly botched the response to a deadly contagious virus spreading through the country. Perhaps they can hire us to comb through their social media feeds and delete their Trumpian tweets so nobody remembers their role in America’s political debasement.
Sadly, we Never Trumpers understand that once our quadrennial tryst with the left is over, we will get zero credit for the principled stand we once took. The second we argue that protecting coverage for preexisting medical conditions can be done without requirements on insurance companies, we will be cast into the dungeon with the Trump boat paraders and armed militias who showed up to defend the coronavirus.
Goodbye, Strange New Respect. Goodbye, MSNBC. Goodbye, Rex Chapman's Twitter love.
All we ask is that you remember we are the same people you laughed with and commiserated with for four years. Our positions haven’t changed, our priorities have. We don’t like the idea of Biden and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi running things, we just believe President Sharknado has coarsened a culture we hold even more dearly.
When we no longer see each other, just remember, it’s not you, and it’s not me. It’s him.
And if Trump wins on Tuesday, well … my DMs are open.
Christian Schneider, who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, is a senior reporter at The College Fix, a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors and author of “1916: The Blog.” Follow him on Twitter: @Schneider_CM