Remember these names: Jonah Goldberg, David Frum, Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, Max Boot, Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Joe Scarborough, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Jennifer Rubin, George Will, Josh Jordan, Tom Nichols, Charles Cooke, Stephen Hayes, Tim Miller, John Podhoretz, Nicole Wallace, Steven Schmidt, Bret Stephens, Ross Douthat, Leon Wolf, David Brooks, Rick Wilson, Evan McMullin, Stuart Stevens, Red State, National Review, the Weekly Standard…
These are the so-called conservative men, women, and institutions who (among others) fought the hardest to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, all in the unforgivable hope that Hillary Clinton would become president.
These are so-called conservatives who have, for nearly two years now, been promoting themselves and fundraising by smearing Trump as incompetent and “not a real conservative,” as a “Democrat in sheep’s clothing” — when, in fact, all of that best describes #NeverTrump.
These are the so-called conservatives who — after Trump’s first year in office — have now been proven as wrong as wrong can be. If their conservative credentials lost all credibility during a 2016 campaign during which they used whatever residual influence they had to hand the Oval Office to Clinton, the proven results of the past year should mean that they are written off forever as idiots, quacks, mercenaries, and con men.
Trump has had, in my opinion, the most successful first year of any president since Ronald Reagan. And not just a consequential first year that has already built a legacy, but a conservative first year. Below, I do my best to list these accomplishments, but there are so many, forgive me if a few are missed:
- Real, honest-to-goodness tax reform and cuts — the most consequential in 30 years.
- Opening ANWR for oil exploration, an accomplishment few can appreciate who do not remember the 90s and what a sacred cow this is for the left.
- Killing the Obamacare mandate that brutalized those making less than $50,000 a year.
- The Islamic State (ISIS) has been decimated.
- After a 2016 of just 1.9 percent GDP growth, we have now had two quarters in a row of growth over three percent; predictions for the final quarter of 2017 are as high as four percent.
- Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has already proven himself the perfect replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia.
- The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are a go — which means tens of thousands of jobs.
- A record number of judicial appointments on the appeals courts.
- The end of the War on Coal.
- A surge in coal mining after 2016’s decline.
- The end of the federal government’s violating the religious conscience through indefensible Obamacare mandates involving birth control and abortion pills.
- The civil rights movement for school choice is getting the green light throughout the country.
- Illegal immigration is way down.
- The stock market hit record highs 70 times in 2017, rising 5,000 points for the first time ever.
- The long-overdue recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- We are free of the awful Paris climate treaty.
- Regulatory reform that is just getting started, but it has already had a hugely positive effect on our economy.
- Withdrawal from the Global Compact on Migration, which undercut American sovereignty.
- Return of nearly two million acres to the state Utah that the federal government had stolen.
- A $250 billion trade deal with China.
- Many of our NATO allies are finally paying their dues.
- Consumer confidence is the best we have seen in more than a decade.
- Pulled us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in favor of the American worker and sovereignty.
- Trump has managed to get China to help rein in North Korea.
- Black unemployment is at a 17-year low.
- Hispanic unemployment is at an all-time low.
- Overall unemployment is at one percent.
- Manufacturing jobs boom.
- Standing up for persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East.
- Promoting Christmas.
- Banning or demanding stronger vetting from countries most likely to import terrorists.
- Housing sales are at an 11-year high.
- Ban on transgender military recruits.
Now, you need to close your eyes and imagine what the list above would look like had #NeverTrump won the day and made Hillary Clinton president.
Now, try to imagine any one of the 16 Republicans who competed for the 2016 nomination accomplishing all of this, or even having the courage to stand up to a media onslaught to accomplish all of this, or even being, yes, conservative enough to do things like pull us out of the Paris climate agreement (something the Republican establishment’s failed 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney, opposes).
Trump’s conservatism, his competence, his willingness to stand up to gale force media hate to keep his promises, is unlike anything we have seen since 1981.
In the pursuit of only their own grift, personal fame, the gratification of bottomless egos, and a soft place to land among the Beautiful People, #NeverTrump lied to us, took our money, and fought tooth and nail to extend the disastrous Obama presidency into a third term.
And now, just one year into Trump’s presidency, #NeverTrump has once again been exposed for who they truly are — bitter, dishonest saboteurs more interested in their lofty place at the trough than the future of their own country.
All these bitter clingers have left now is to further degrade outlets such as the once-necessary National Review, a once-cherished laboratory of vibrant conservative ideas and thought, which is now a hangout for sore losers to keep rewriting the same column over and over and over again about how pure and virtuous they are, as they scold the rest of us for fighting for and sticking with a president who has delivered in ways they told us was not even within the realm of possibility.