A Handy Guide To Writing The NeverTrump Column
Are you a NeverTrump “conservative” who wants to be a journalist? This guide has you covered.
With so many people stuck at home these days, many are contemplating dipping their toes into the world of professional writing. While it’s true that many journalists have been losing their jobs or taking pay cuts, especially in the time of virus, some niche areas are still booming. Provided you have the correct prerequisites, writing the NeverTrump column could be a quick and easy way to write essays for fun and profit.
Aside from the fact that important daily newspapers and blogs around the country run the NeverTrump column every day, making it a target rich environment, it has another advantage. You only have to write it once. After that you just move a few words around, replace Russia with Ukraine, emoluments for tax fraud, whatever really. You could probably even set up a template and a thesaurus algorithm and make the whole enterprise as quick as pushing one button.
For those of you who think you are ready to jump into this exciting world, who think they posses that special mixture of smugness, selective fact use, outrage, and profound conceit, here’s a quick how-to guide to get you started.
1. I’m A Conservative, No Really
So this is basic but very important. The whole point of the NeverTrump column is that you are a conservative, so you criticizing Trump makes it especially meaningful. You want to say things like, “I’ve voted Republican my entire life,” and heap praise on Mitt Romney. If you were in any conservative college clubs, that’s good, maybe publications in conservative outlets before Trump was elected. That kind of thing.
But keep in mind, your real job here is to assure liberals that they are right about Trump, and give them ammunition to say, “look, even a conservative says so.” Let’s face it, WaPo and the Times and aren’t buying these pieces looking for the next James Joyce, you’re selling confirmation bias. One thing you might want to gloss over is any support you may have had for the Iraq War.
2. I Had To Make A Heroic Stand
Once you have established your conservative bona fides it’s time to start describing just how heroic a stand you are making by turning on your former friends. Feel free to lay it on thick here, maybe a Thomas Paine quote. The reader needs to know how much you have sacrificed but also that there was no other decision you could make in good conscious.
This involves “principles over party.” But listen, be careful with that. You need to be extremely vague about your principles, because you’re still supposedly a conservative right? Issues like abortion, tax cuts, judges, deregulation, a pro-Israel foreign policy, religious liberty and drag shows for toddlers are pretty much off limits, since you want to hand control over all it to liberal Democrats.
Instead say stuff like, “The Americans values I have believed in my whole life,” or “A core set of principles I cannot abandon for a cult of personality.” You’ll figure it out. Don’t mention your recurring appearances on MSNBC; it kind of undercuts the whole politically homeless victim narrative.
3. Expose The Grifters
Like any good turncoat, you are in a unique position to expose the grifters among your former associates. You can roughly identify them as anyone who disagrees with you. What you need to get across is that there is no sane, reasonable explanation for supporting Trump. This being the case, the only possible reason to support him is that people are getting paid off.
This is an important section; don’t feel the need to be delicate. Just lump everyone who supports Trump into one deplorable bucket and start shooting. Without being specific make it seem like everyone at “the bad outlets” is buying Ferraris by betraying their country.
4. Stress Violations of Norms
This is really a grab bag, you know, married three times, tweets too much, was a reality TV star, calls people names. Anything like that, just dress it up a little with some 25-cent words and make clear that it’s all unprecedented and dangerous. Ultimately, this is the sickness you are trying to cure. And once Trump loses, the entire conservative movement will come to you hat in hand, beg forgiveness and ask you for sturdy leadership.
5. We Have To Lose To Win
If you really want to capture the authentic NeverTrump voice just remember, “You only win by losing.” Are you handing the entire country over to a progressive party much of which makes Karl Marx look like Adam Smith? Sure. But Trump will be gone. And only after Trump is gone can the GOP return to its grand tradition of surrendering constantly to Democrats.
So give it a whirl kids, its really not that hard. Just betray everything you once pretended to believe in. You might even wind up with your name in the paper.
David Marcus is the Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.