The Unbearable Shallowness of #NeverTrump Arguments, Part 2: Kevin Williamson

We continue our tour of #NeverTrump’s dangerous shallowness with National Review’s Kevin Williamson, whose work on the subject is particularly insufferable thanks to his wrapping profoundly stupid arguments in arrogant contempt for all who disagree.

Cruz and the rest should not be bullied into accepting the nonsense that refusing to go in for Trump is a vote for Mrs. Clinton. It isn’t. Declining to support Trump is an act of integrity and good taste. It isn’t anything Cruz or Bush has done that makes Trump unsupportable — that is Trump’s doing, and no one else’s.

I don’t know what’s lamer: the suggestion that “Trump’s doing” somehow negates NeverTrumpers’ free will in choosing not to vote for him, or the two-word denial that not voting Trump amounts to supporting Clinton. Presidential elections only have two viable candidates. The only way to make one lose is to get the other more votes. Of course deliberately withholding votes from the alternative to Hillary benefits Hillary. This is not complicated.

And “act of integrity and good taste”? To give Hillary Clinton the opportunity to effectively end the Constitution and the conservative movement via a one-two punch of establishing a 6-3 leftist Supreme Court (at best) and amnestying enough future Democrat voters to ensure we never win another national election in our lifetimes? Another 9/11? Fifty million more abortions? More persecution of Christian employers and conservative activists? More liberties and checks on government power erased? More disenfranchisement of the states and the people? Possibly sacrificing our opportunity to ever fix any of the crises facing America?

Meh, says Kevin to all of that. Hating Trump is more important to me than the suffering of millions of Americans.

Kevin did, however, elaborate on “it isn’t” in an earlier article, and good Lord is it worse than you’re expecting:

“If you aren’t for Trump, then you’re for Clinton” is a cheap rhetorical ploy. I’d write that any thinking adult would be ashamed for falling for that kind of sixth-grade debater’s stratagem, but a Republican electorate capable of choosing Donald Trump as its standard-bearer is incapable of shame.

Why? Because we should disregard “any other point of comparison between the candidates” and just focus on the fact that Trump “is unfit to serve, period.”

Yes, Williamson’s brilliant rationale, on which he hangs so much condescension and scorn and pretension, is that we should pretend Trump is running in a vacuum. That we should ignore the net harm from either outcome.

This, in a column that sneers at others for “sixth-grade debater’s stratagems” and “shallow” thinking. I defy you to find anything more hypocritical or less self-aware on the Daily Kos.

Oh, and that’s not all…Kevin decided to throw a little character assassination in for good measure, by claiming the “it’s Trump or Hillary” argument is “mainly an attempt to forestall further criticism of Trump,” and that those making it “do not wish to speak or think very much about what the Trump movement and its enablers, from Sean Hannity to Ann Coulter, have done to the Republican party and to the conservative movement.”

Kevin may not be as smart as he thinks he is, but he’s certainly still smart enough to know the difference between Trump’s apologists and enablers in the primary versus conservatives voting for him in the general. Yet he chooses to tar the latter group with the formers’ sins anyway (never mind people like me, who are capable of both condemning the very Trump sellouts Kevin rails against yet still objectively weighing Trump against Hillary).

Do Rich Lowry and Jack Fowler really consider this dishonesty, hypocrisy, and crude, juvenile anti-logic adequate to represent National Review? Is this really the level of quality and integrity they are willing to settle for?

Once upon a time, Kevin Williamson’s writing was consistently excellent; today, it is unrecognizable as anything other than unearned smugness. It’s a tragic testament to how blind hatred (or perhaps the need to gin up book sales) can turn smart men stupid.

P.S. Kevin has also written that John Boehner was an okay Speaker and that conservative critics of the GOP Surrender Caucus are just a bunch of “deeply stupid” whiners. In that latter piece, he says the following:

If you are a conservative, and if you believe that the way to reform American public policy is to elect conservatives, and you arrived at Election Day believing that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were, from the conservative point of view, interchangeable commodities, then you are either a fanatic or extraordinarily ill-informed. In either case, you owe it to yourself and to your country to be a better citizen, and maybe read a book. There are all sorts of good reasons to abstain from voting, but the preposterous notion that there isn’t much difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney isn’t one of them.

Replace “Barack Obama” with “Hillary Clinton” and “Mitt Romney” with “Donald Trump,” and July 2015 Williamson could have been lecturing his July 2016 self. Make of all this what you will in evaluating his selective approach to ideological purity.


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