Longtime conservative columnist tells why he's a 'Never Trumper'

Conservative writer Jonah Goldberg calls himself a "Never Trumper.""I don't think I should change my ...

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 7:37 PM
Updated: Oct 30, 2018 7:37 PM

Conservative writer Jonah Goldberg calls himself a "Never Trumper."

"I don't think I should change my positions about all sorts of things just because (Trump's) a Republican," Goldberg told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Conservatism

Conservative media

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Media bias

Media content

Media industry

Political Figures - US

Society

US federal government

White House

Brett Kavanaugh

Government organizations - US

Politics

US federal court system

US Supreme Court

Goldberg, a columnist for the National Review and the author of "Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Nationalism, Populism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy," believes strongly in identifying the flaws within one's own party, even when it comes to the President.

"What bothers me, and what I think is so corrupting of conservatism and of the Republican Party, is that we are hardwired evolutionarily to resist the idea that our leaders are bad people."

Here are three reasons Goldberg cited for considering himself a "Never Trumper":

1. President Donald Trump doesn't stick to a single ideology

"The problem is that Trump himself is beholden to no coherent intellectual or ideological program. And so at some point it's sort of like, do you play the man or do you play the ball?"

Goldberg predicts that loyal followers of Trump will inevitably find themselves in a "dilemma" trying to back him up.

"Do they defend the ever-serpentining Donald Trump, or do they defend the ideas? And you can't do both, because he's going to flip-flop so much."

Goldberg doesn't even identify the President's point of view as an ideology: " 'Trumpism' isn't an ideological or intellectual program. It's a psychological phenomenon, both in terms of understanding the President and understanding his biggest supporters."

2. Trump has serious 'winner's bias'

"Trump kind of is a black swan in that way: Because of his ego, he retroactively thinks that anything he did is the reason why he's where he is," Goldberg said.

Goldberg cites the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as an example of Trump's "winner's bias." By inserting himself into the hearing through publicly mocking Christine Blasey Ford, Goldbberg said, the President believes he is the reason for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

"So many of Trump's supporters and Trump himself think that's why they won the Kavanaugh fight, when in fact, he put the Kavanaugh confirmation in more jeopardy at that moment than at any other point," said Goldberg

"They have now internalized, once again, that the way you win is to be the most obnoxious, most cantankerous, most pugnacious person in the fight."

3. Trump doesn't take criticism well

"Traditionally, the way you guide or herd a president to a certain position is you say nice things about him when he does the things that you like, and you criticize him when he does the things that are wrong. The problem is, is that Trump has none of the normal reactions to criticism," Goldberg said.

In order for Trump to respond, "it has to be praise," according to Goldberg. This, in turn, leads to notable repercussions that can "distort our understanding of how politics works."

So instead of openly criticizing the President, even those who disagree with Trump will flatter him publicly.

"Rand Paul, who has probably done more than any other Republican to undermine huge chunks of the Trump agenda," Goldberg said, "sucks up to Trump in public. ... And this is the mechanism of a cult of personality."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 396501

Reported Deaths: 5268
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61066850
Washington42631406
Marion40277517
Clackamas33256388
Lane30473363
Jackson25211363
Deschutes23984192
Umatilla15155184
Linn14966184
Douglas13608295
Josephine10357248
Yamhill9878145
Klamath9120152
Polk8347103
Benton622940
Malheur593592
Coos5806109
Columbia441156
Jefferson426066
Lincoln367952
Crook343958
Union341456
Wasco319646
Clatsop265435
Baker222533
Tillamook219846
Hood River217237
Morrow198425
Curry194239
Harney121733
Grant109116
Lake106318
Wallowa76313
Sherman1933
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5127121

Reported Deaths: 74911
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153745027248
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3367395771
Sacramento1699162460
Kern1588341838
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241513
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus922291434
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511311
Shasta26353462
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793979
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163318
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
Out of CA00
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 44°
Brookings
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 45°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 44°
Grants Pass
Mostly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 44°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Showers return tomorrow with falling snow levels
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events