Magazine August 10, 2020, Issue

Who Were the Never Trumpers and What Motivated Them?

At the close of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 21, 2016 (Rick Wilking / Reuters)
Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites, by Robert P. Saldin and Steven M. Teles (Oxford University Press, 304 pp., $27.95)

Slogans and labels serve a crucial purpose in politics, like banners on the battlefield: They rally the faithful to join a particular cause, and to know what cause they are joining. As soon as a cause acquires a name, however, the name becomes equally a term of abuse by its foes. Eventually, the name itself becomes a matter of contention, for both those who claim its ownership and those who seek to avoid its associations. So it is with “Republican,” so it is with “conservative,” so it is with “neoconservative,” and so it is today with “Never Trump.”

For those seeking

This article appears as “Getting to Never” in the August 10, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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