Are ‘Never Trumpers’ the Future of the GOP?

Denouncing the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill as a parsimonious “disgrace” and hinting at an Alamo-style finish on Jan. 6, when Congress votes to declare Joe Biden the next president, Donald Trump is not going to go quietly.

The anti-Trumpers and “Never Trumpers” celebrating at Christmas 2020, in this “dark winter” of Joe Biden’s depiction, are assuring each other that Trumpism and Trump are dead and gone for good in four weeks.

The future of the GOP, they suggest, belongs to the Republicans who resisted and renounced Trump through the last five years of his candidacy and presidency.

As for those cowards and collaborators who stood by Trump and refused to repudiate him, they will, in turn, be repudiated by history and the American electorate alike.

The wish, here, is very much the father to the thought.

For if the past is any guide, not only are the reports of the death of Trumpism premature, the probability is that Trumpism has put down roots in our national politics that are not soon, if ever, going to be pulled up.

For those of us of a certain age, a comparable situation arose at Christmas 1964. Barry Goldwater had just been crushed in a 44-state landslide, winning the votes of only 27 million Americans. The senator had carried only five states of the Deep South and his home state of Arizona.

The establishment saw in the crushing of Goldwater the defeat and rout of the "extremist" movement that had produced him. "The Party That Lost Its Head" was the title of a widely hailed post-election book by two Ripon Society Republicans.

The establishment consensus was that Govs. Nelson Rockefeller of New York, William Scranton of Pennsylvania and George Romney of Michigan were the future of the party, if it was to have a future.

What followed?

Richard Nixon, who had stood by Goldwater when the party's liberal elite abandoned him, would lead the GOP to recapture 47 House seats in 1966, take the presidency in 1968, and run up a 49 state landslide in 1972.

Thus began a period of GOP presidential ascendancy, with Nixon, Reagan and Bush I winning five of six elections from 1968 to 1988, until the first baby boomer president, Bill Clinton, arrived on the scene.

And while there are differences between now and then, there are many similarities.

Do the anti-Trumpers or "Never Trumpers" represent the future of the GOP? If so, where is the postwar precedent for this? No Republican who turned his back on Goldwater was ever nominated for president or vice president following Goldwater's defeat.

When President Gerald Ford put Rockefeller on his ticket after taking over from President Nixon, the Kansas City convention of 1976 demanded Rockefeller's removal as the price of party unity.

Rockefeller was sacrificed, as the right had demanded.

Four years after Ford's defeat, Mr. Conservative himself, Ronald Reagan, Goldwater's most effective surrogate in 1964, was nominated and won successive landslides in 1980 and 1984.

Other factors and forces point to the probability that Trumpism has a major role in the party's future.

Where Presidents Truman, Nixon, and George W. Bush left office with approval ratings in the 20s, Trump's approval rating is still in the 40s, where it has been for the duration of his presidency.

Second, the issues that propelled Trump to the nomination and the Oval Office still resonate with the American people.

Among them are mass migration, insecure borders and dependency upon foreign imports for the necessities of our national life.

Moreover, there is shrinking support for a foreign policy that has us tied down militarily in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East, to fight if need be, in the defense of scores of nations, few of which have a direct bearing on the national security of the United States.

Another issue Trump elevated and exploited that is more acute now than in 2016, is a distrust of the media, the "deep state" and the political, cultural and academic establishments that have alienated the 74 million who voted for Trump.

And if the past is prologue, the Republican Party will make a major comeback in 2022.

Consider. Two years after his smashing victory over Goldwater, LBJ and his party lost 47 House seats. Ronald Reagan, after his landslide in 1980, lost 26 House seats in 1982. After routing Bush I in 1992, Bill Clinton lost 54 House seats and the Senate. Two years after winning the presidency, Barack Obama lost both the House and Senate in 2014.

Is it likely Joe Biden will be celebrating his 80th birthday after making history by leading his party to control of Congress in 2022?

For Republicans, the nomination of 2024 is a prize to be sought.

However, if one has spent the last four years trashing Trump, it may be as out of reach as it was for Rocky.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

When you sign up to comment you'll also receive our regular newsletter. You can find more about how we use your information here.

39 thoughts on “Are ‘Never Trumpers’ the Future of the GOP?”

  1. The real future of the Republican Party are conservatives, and the Never Trumpers aren’t conservative, but rather are Washington Establishment.

    1. Arent todays “Never Trumpers” yesterdays “neo-cons’? The left wing of the “Republicrat” party. They have always been about “me!me!me!”and never for the citizens of the U.S.A.!

  2. President Trump is someone our country has needed for a very long time. Let us pray that his ideas and ideals will prevail long into the future. As for the never Trumpers, they appear to all be part of the same swamp we are trying to drain. The don’t belong in politics nor even in our country’s society. They should remain in quarantine until they realize how and why The United States was founded.

  3. What could the anti/never Trumpers offer that anyone would support? Those establishment pukes were exposed as a complete fraud over the past 5 years and all their cruises, magazines and prestigious speaking fees are a thing of the past. There was only 1 Reagan, only 1 Trump, that means we’re either going to reelected Trump by exposing this election fraud or in 2024 when he’ll only be as old as Biden is now. I’m fairly old but I hope I live long enough to see this play out.

    1. I think you are wrong if we let the democrats still the selection I will never vote ever again and there is many people that feel the same way I do is time to have war

  4. I would like to believe that President Trump’s attitude toward government and how it should be run to benefit American citizens will continue to grow. Being successful at stealing one election is not going to cause US to forget how well the economy was doing when we weren’t wasting tax dollars on Socialist promoting programs and Socialist supporting organizations pretending to be able to control nature and our social lives. We need to elect more business persons to government positions and oust all who have made careers out of being politicians.

  5. Well I am hoping we can start a new party because the GOP rinos are pathetic. McConnel only supports more Rinos. We need real conservatives – ves that believe in the constitution, not how to enrich themselves and lie to the people. The commie dems do a great job of the lying, but the republicans that knew everything about the case against trump was a set up and no one – again NO ONE said anything. So it is perfectly okay to commit treason in the republicans book. Like it is perfectly okay to commit the crime of voter fraud. I am tired of these clowns traitors like Romney, Sasse, Murkowski, Collins, McConnell, Grassley, Thune, Croyn and others I left the Republican party a few years back and am an independent, but I am a Trumper, Trump has done more for our country and we the people than anyone in Congress has in 50 to 100 years. And they are anxious to let all this progress go for we the people to get back to the piggy trough and enriching themselves. Anyone else tired of being a pawn in the politicians pandering and selling our country to enrich themselves?

  6. I have been a reluctant Republican since 2000, and have denied the RNC any donations since then. It was because the RINOs had been our party’s worst enemy. With the rise of even more RINOs, especially the anti-Trump elites, I have resolved to end my association with the GOP. What with our betrayals by RINO clowns, I find no home for me. I had hoped that the TEA Party would grow legs, but it didn’t. I am not a likely member of the Libertarian Party, though I do applaud their fiscally conservative approach to governing. To me, it’s all about passing and sticking to a national budget, reigning in profligate spending and out-of-control taxation, and adherence to Constitutional governance that limits the power of the government and advances the power of citizens to live unencumbered lives. Who will step up and replace the GOP? I’m not the only one who has been abandoned by the GOP. Let’s leave the GOP to the RINOs and let them suck lemons!

  7. The only problem is that, unless the theft of this election is overturned there won’t be anymore future elections.

    How is it the GOP always thinks, “we’ll win next time!” NO! It won’t happen! Let a crime go unreversed and unpunished and it will be sanctified. Trust me, 2022 and 2024 will be repeats of 2020. And you foolish GOPrs will scratch your heads and wonder what went wrong??

    What went wrong was letting the FIRST wrong go in-righted!! You have handed the USA to its enemies, domestic and foreign. They will not give you a chance to correct your cowardice!

    That’s how it works! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you doubt me, ask the people of Venezuela.

  8. The only problem is that, unless the theft of this election is overturned there won’t be anymore future elections.

    How is it the GOP always thinks, “we’ll win next time!” NO! It won’t happen! Let a crime go unreversed and unpunished and it will be sanctified. Trust me, 2022 and 2024 will be repeats of 2020. And you foolish GOPrs will scratch your heads and wonder what went wrong??

    What went wrong was letting the FIRST wrong go un-righted! You have handed the USA to its enemies, domestic and foreign. They will not give you a chance to correct your cowardice!

    That’s how it works! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you doubt me, ask the people of Venezuela.

  9. What good has the GOP been all this time? We still march on to a Communist police state while the Deep State now has the confidence of going public!
    What have they done all this time? How have they fought back? With what ideas and values and ethics?

  10. NO theyre NOT the GOP future and= to the Dems.
    Narrow minded RINOs.
    Hurt the nation overall.

  11. Unless this fraud riddled bogus election is overturned, President Trump might want to consider establishing a national political “American Conservative Party” to maintain connections with his supporters. His family, friends and close associates have great organizational skills, and could easily do it. With 74 million voters (contributing $10/ea. = 740 M to start it) who supported him in this election. Where do you suppose his initial “American Conservative Party” supporters might be coming from? Hmm? Maybe because of their failure to support him, they’re sure asking for it! In 1965 William F. Buckley, had a feisty 3 way race, but unsuccessful run, on the newly formed (1962) NY Conservative Party ticket for mayor of NY City (I was there), But in 1970, his brother James Buckley was elected NY U.S. Senator running on the Conservative Party ticket. So, it can be done.

  12. If anything it will be the death of the Republican Party. They need to be voted out in the primary elections, or tossed out for corruption. If the Party hopes to go on, then the swamp rat’s need to be trapped and be marked as RINO’s.

  13. I believe the backstabbing treachery of the Republican never-Trumpers will come back to haunt them in their attempts of reelection. They’ve gambled and put their cards on the table for all to see. When they realize their monumental mistake, it will be too late to backpeddle their decision. In their belief that they need to dump Trump and think the voters will just forget and forgive is proof of their disregard of the will of their constituents and will clearly be seen as a slap in our collective faces. Their arrogance will not be forgotten. It could very well end the party as we know it, and that might be a good thing. A split could occur, bringing about a third party that may very well rival both established parties. I hope so. I was a democrat all my life until Obama destroyed my faith in my party, causing me to become a Republican during the “great divider”(‘s) second term. Both parties have outlived their usefulness.

  14. I am tired of seeing US history “rewritten” by the left and historic flags and monuments removed/relocated. I am voting for anyone who will demand cuts in welfare, food stamps, student loans, municipal assistance, etc. to residents of ANY state, county, or city where this has happened, and keep the cuts going until EVERY historic monument has been restored at the location it was removed from, AND every historic place name restored. The Lee statue needs to be restored at its original location in the US Capitol. What about the Washington Redskins? I will always refer to the Redskins as the Washington football team! Dan Snyder could have renamed the Redskins the Washington Whiggers and he would be telling the truth.

    What has been omitted is the US sell out to communist china by our “representatives” in Congress. Mr. Trump was correct to veto the “pork-laden” covid bill, and any other bill that won’t repeal Sec. 230 of the Communications Act or allow renaming of federal property. Do your part and leave anything marked “Made in China” on store shelves unsold! Don’t support any of “Bad News Biden” criminal enterprises…



  17. I say purge anyone not supporting President Trump from the GOP while we have the momentum.

    According to the very recent Rasmussen poll of a couple of weeks ago, 72% of Republicans support President Trump and his policies, so tossing the anti-Trumpers and Never-Trumpers should be easy. Those two groups were and continue to be globalists and very much in the minority.


    Montana Bob

  18. As they say, “history repeats itself”, the republican(re unconservative) party will go the way of the whigs because, like the whigs, they have become as useless as tits on a bull! Trump may lead the establishment of a new CONSERVATIVE party or we may become a one party, ie democrat/marxist country because the republican party will lose enough support as to never have any kind of majority again.

  19. Past political results are no guarantee of future performance, especially now that Democrats have a well-oiled nation-wide election fraud machine, about which a so-called ‘conservative’ SCOTUS refuses to even hear the evidence. If a fraudulently elected Biden is allowed to take office nothing stands in the way of a Democrat repeat performance in every future election going forward. A conservative Republican like Trump or Reagan will never win again, ever.

  20. The Never Trumpers as they want to ne called are nothing more than today’s Democrats in the guise of calling themselves Republicans, Mitt Romney is a good example.

  21. Trump is his worst enemy. I voted for him twice. I do not care for lifetime politicians. Trump accomplished quite a bit in his term despite the uphill climb.

    However, he has to learn to shut up sometimes and use some tact.

    He lost the election because he made so many people hate him. His advisors are too much of a toad or if all of the ones who told him to can it were fired, the ones who took over for them were not too smart.

    1. Dude, you are either a liar or an idiot and coward, so which is it? No one believes YOU voted for Trump Troll, Because no one who voted for Trump would say what you just said unless they are an idiot, and Trump voters are not stupid like democrat voters are, so you must be a liar!!

  22. Establishment Republicans have become too comfortable in the swamp called Washington DC. They have no core principles and no backbone! They have lost touch with ordinary Americans–that’s why Trump resonated with us ordinary Americans–he spoke our language. The career politicians in Washington don’t speak our language anymore. All they do is pontificate and make flowery speeches that say NOTHING! Let’s hope and pray conservatives will come out and run against establishment republicans in 2022 to flush our the RINOS and maybe, just maybe a new Republican party will be formed! However, in the past several Senate elections, Mitch McConnell was able to out-fund the conservative challengers and his chosen candidate would win! Mitch McConnell is a true establishment republican and does not want any challengers to his way of life!

  23. The GOP may think this is they way of the future of the GOP, but The GOP is about to go the way of the wiggs party because the voting base of the GOP are sick of being sold out by RINO republicans such as Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John McCain, Both George Bushes and “the morman from utah” and way too many other neocon’s that are directly responsible in no small measure for the outright destruction of our nation, and We the people are not going to take it anymore. I hereby renounce my life long membership to the GOP, We will start a patriotic party that will not sell out American Value’s and the constitution any longer, Not one more step!!

  24. I fear for our Republic as it appears Biden will take the White House with this fraudulent election. Living in PA, we witnessed firsthand the theft of the election with the unauthorized actions of our governor and secretary of state. We will never support a never-Trumper in any future election, as they did not support President Trump during the last four years, instead lobbing stones from their swamp seats. They are globalist, political opportunists who put their own interests ahead of us, the people of the U. S. A.

Comments are closed.