First things first: I confess that I frequently hang out with #NeverTrump believers and folks who are at least sympathetic to that cause.
This happens all the time in cyberspace and in analog life as well, including church. As GetReligion readers probably know, I had been a Bible Belt Democrat all my life (part of the endangered pro-life tribe) until the 2016 election shoved me through the #NeverHillary door and into Third Party land (but that’s another story and not the subject of this post).
All of this is to say that the following double-decker New York Times headline caught my eye:
The ‘Never Trump’ Coalition That Decided Eh, Never Mind, He’s Fine
They signed open letters, dedicated a special magazine issue to criticism of him and swore he would tear at the fabric of this nation. Now they have become the president’s strongest defenders.
Wait a minute. So the whole #NeverTrump world has veered into Make America Great Again territory? How did I miss that?
Actually, this is one of those thumbsucker pieces that is dominated by hard-news language (add sarcasm font) like “some,” “many” and “largely.” A phrase such as “at least half” is a rare concession to complexity.
This piece also assumes that anyone who is scared as Hades about trends in the Democratic Party’s woke candidate pool — on First Amendment issues, for example — has concluded that embracing Trump is the best choice available on Election Day. By the way, in this political feature making “supportive statements” about one or more actions taken by anyone in the Trump White House equals enthusiastic support for the president’s 2020 dreams.
Let’s dive into the thesis section of this analysis piece that is not labeled an analysis piece: