Never means Never

Donald Trump won Indiana last night. I was just going to be quiet and let the Trump supporters have their moment. Regroup today. See if there was any honorable way to stop Trump from becoming the nominee. It didn’t look good.

Then Ted Cruz, the last hope to stop Donald Trump from becoming the RNC Nominee, dropped out of the race.

Immediately the calls for the #NeverTrump people to unite behind the presumptive nominee began. Didn’t we know that we had to give up our position and stop Hillary Clinton?

Hold on. Were you not paying attention before? Maybe I need to explain what the word “Never” means?

When I, and millions of GOP primary voters (35-37% of us if exit polls are to be believed) said we wouldn’t support the GOP nominee if it was Trump, we meant it. We weren’t just saying stuff.

I didn’t say #NeverTrump for political expediency. It wasn’t a clever way to support Ted Cruz or some other candidate. I, like millions of Republicans, will not vote for Donald Trump, ever.

I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton either. She stands for things I don’t. She will never get my vote.

I evaluate candidates along 3 lines: Character, Competence, and Core Values.

With Clinton’s character, I don’t believe she is a woman of integrity. It’s obvious to me that she will lie and try to further herself over the country’s interests. Regarding competence, she certainly has had ample opportunity to learn how to lead, and has obviously given thought to the issues facing our nation. I disagree with her on the issues, and if her previous performance is any indication, I don’t think she would do a good job as President. And her core values are directly in contradiction to mine. So, of course, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.

In previous Presidential elections, I’ve been able to turn to the Republican nominee, hold my nose and vote for them because while they may not be perfect (none ever is) at least I could live with them in the role of President. I didn’t doubt there character (more than any other politician) or competence. And at least some of their core values aligned with mine.

But Trump?

Character: People say there are two Trump’s, the one he has to play in the primary and the private Trump. A man of integrity is the same in public and private. He has lied so often I can’t even keep up. Just yesterday, a few hours before calling for Cruz supporters to unite behind him, he was accusing Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the JFK assassination. he will say and do anything to get what he wants. He has written in the Art of the Deal that he often plays to people’s fantasies, and tells them what he thinks they want to hear. he calls it “truthful hyperbole”. He spins the circumstances, and presents them in a way that best help himself. I would say he is the master of that. But he is not a man of integrity.

Competence: He routinely contradicts his own stated policies. He campaigns according to public opinion. He basically throws something out and sees if it sticks. before the Wisconsin primary, there were a couple of days where he actually held 4 different positions on abortion. It seemed like he hadn’t given any thought to how to answer questions about a pivotal issue for conservatives. He changes positions all the time, based on whatever he thinks he should say to help himself. Most of the positions he claims to hold have been written by others, and he doesn’t seem to be familiar with them. His style of leadership does not lend itself to being President. his behavior on the campaign trail indicates that a Trump administration would not be a competent one.

Core Values: This is a big one. As I mentioned before, he doesn’t have a consistent position on abortion. He called for the killing of wives and children of terrorists (multiple times) and when he found out it would be a war crime, he said we should loosen up those laws. He’s soft on LGBT issues. He’s not for limited government. He’s soft on the ACA and government healthcare. He’s not for free trade. He’s a populist. He wants to ban immigrants/refugees based solely on their religion. He wants to round up illegal immigrants and send them home, build a wall, then let them back in. He wants to start a trade war with China and Mexico. He says he’s against visa for worker in American, but admits to using them himself to the benefit of his businesses. He wants to open up libel laws to shut down criticism from journalists. Until a few years ago, he held very liberal positions, and doesn’t have much of a reason for why he changed his mind. He has no conservative track record. He lies, a lot. He uses dishonorable tactics to smear his opponents.

Every core value I can identify is directly contradictory to my own. And the rest, who can tell what he thinks or will do? How many times has he given an interview, only to have his campaign clarify and walk back something he said?

At least with Clinton I know what we are getting. So no, I’m not going to vote for Clinton and I’m not going to vote for Trump.

And no, a vote for someone else is not a vote for Clinton. It’s a vote for someone else. Either my vote matters or it doesn’t. The Republican party has to earn my vote just like any party. Frankly, if I had been required to register as a Republican in Texas before the primary, I would request to be removed from the Republican membership. Since I didn’t, that makes it easier. I’m not handing the election to Clinton. Millions of us told anyone who would listen that we were not buying what trump was selling. the fact that th rest of you decided to buy it does not make it my responsibility to join you.

Principle over party. Period.

A Republican party that can nominate someone like Donald Trump doesn’t represent me. So I no longer “identify” as one. I’m now an independent conservative. I will find someone I can vote for, instead of against. As long as we keep voting for the lesser of two evils, we will keep getting one of the evils.

I’m still #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary. Never means never.

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