New York Times conservative columnist Bret Stephens published an op-ed on Friday, explaining the reasons why he still sees himself as a “Never Trumper” despite President Trump’s many accomplishments since he took office nearly a year ago.
Stephens even went so far as to write, “I still wish Hillary Clinton were president.”
Attributing Clinton with more moral character than Trump, the writer slams Trump in much the same way his paper regularly portrays the President: “the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness,” he lists as Trump’s “short-comings”.
Apparently blind to Clinton’s own foibles, which are still emerging as investigations into both parties rage on, Stephens goes after Trump with his poisoned pen as he pretends to hold America’s best interests in mind. “Character Doesn’t Count” has become a de facto G.O.P. motto,” Stephens states. “’Virtue Doesn’t Matter’ might be another.”
Stephens left The Wall Street Journal to join the more liberal ranks of The New York Times in April 2017. He was an outspoken member of the #NeverTrump movement of conservatives that had sought to stop Trump from winning the GOP nomination the year before. And working for the Times has obviously only confirmed his belief that Trump is “unfit” to run America.
Stephens began his scathing indictment of the President’s personality by acknowledging the long list of Trump’s accomplishments:
Tax cuts. Deregulation. More for the military; less for the United Nations. The Islamic State crushed in its heartland. Assad hit with cruise missiles. Troops to Afghanistan. Arms for Ukraine. A tougher approach to North Korea. Jerusalem recognized as Israel’s capital. The Iran deal decertified. Title IX kangaroo courts on campus condemned. Yes to Keystone. No to Paris. Wall Street roaring and consumer confidence high.
And, of course, Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. What, for a conservative, is there to dislike about this policy record as the Trump administration rounds out its first year in office?
Stephens went on to warn that Trump could do lasting damage to the GOP’s brand with younger voters, especially after the party followed his lead and endorsed Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race.
“It also risks permanently alienating a millennial generation for which the GOP will forever be the party of the child-molesting sore loser and the president who endorsed him,” Stephens writes.
“Conservatives may suppose that they can pocket policy gains from a Trump administration while the stain of his person will eventually wash away. But as a (pro-Trump) friend wrote me the other day, ‘presidents empower cultures.'” Stephens concludes that Trump’s negative effect on American culture today will continue into the future.
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