During the primaries, I was a #NeverTrumper, because I preferred Ted Cruz’s more constitutionally pure political ideology. Unfortunately for me, Ted Cruz didn’t win the primary. The iconoclastic, highly eccentric, often bombastic, and really rather vulgar Donald Trump did.
What I did not do when Trump became the Republican candidate was go off in my cave and sulk because he will destroy the purity of the conservative movement. What I did, instead, was look at his political opponent and think “She cannot win. Our constitutional republic will no longer exist after another four years of a hardcore Leftist agenda; an agenda, moreover, that willfully denies that the West is engaged in an existential battle with nihilistic fundamentalist Islamism.” I’m no longer voting for a candidate, I’m voting for my country and, by extension, for the candidate who is least likely to do irreparable harm — i.e., Donald Trump.
The #NeverTrumpers, however, aren’t looking at the bigger picture, which is the battle for America’s soul between a statist vision that sees Americans as useful cogs in a brow-beaten, self-loathing socialist nation and an individualist vision in which Americans are still masters of their own destiny in a proud country with a constitutionally inclined Supreme Court, the right to bear arms, and a military committed to America’s protection. The #NeverTrumpers are so focused on ideological purity that nothing else matters to them. They will bow to the altar of purity even as America follows Venezuela to starvation and ruin (and that downfall, you will recall, happened with remarkable speed, clocking in at about ten years).
Not only do I not like what’s happening, I’ve seen this movie before and can tell you that it ends really badly. The movie, of course, is Bridge on the River Kwai. The rest of this post will be spoiler city. If you don’t mind that fact, continue reading. If you hope one day to see this epic movie and still be surprised by the ending, STOP READING RIGHT NOW.
For those who have forgotten or never known the plot of Bridge on the River Kwai, here’s a summary of the salient points:
The movie begins in 1943, in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Burma run by the sadistic Colonel Saito. He announces to the prisoners that all of them, regardless of rank, will be working as slave labor constructing a railway bridge over the River Kwai that will connect Bangkok and Rangoon. (The movie is based upon the true story of the Burma Railway, built from 1942-1943, at the cost of 13,000 POW lives and the lives 80,000-100,000 men from all over the Malayan peninsula whom the Japanese dragooned into working on the bridge.)
The senior British officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson, objects that this plan violates the Geneva Conventions and is promptly tortured for his efforts by being locked in a hot box in the blazing equatorial heat. At the same time, three prisoners attempt to escape, with only Commander Shears succeeding.
Despite the terrible treatment he’s receiving, Nicholson will not compromise. The other POWs, who are already working have on the bridge, do their best to sabotage the effort.
Eventually, however, for reasons unimportant to this narrative, Colonel Saito releases Nicholson from the hot box, and Nicholson finally gets to see the bridge in progress. Perhaps a little bit unhinged by his torture, Nicholson is appalled by the shoddy Japanese plan and decides that British pride demands that he and his men build a better bridge. Over his officers’ protests, he has POWs who are engineers design a better bridge, to be built on a better site, and then begins to supervise the POWs’ work in dead earnest.
Meanwhile, the escaped Commander Shears, whose back story is also irrelevant here, ends up as part of a secret, four-man commando team that has as its mission destroying the bridge. As was true with the actual Burma Railway, in the movie preventing the Japanese from having a stable, efficient supply line is absolutely necessary to help advance the Allied efforts in the Pacific theater.
Even as the British and Americans are plotting the bridge’s destruction, Nicholson is increasingly obsessed with its completion. In his mind, a perfect bridge will prove to the Japanese how superior the British are, never mind that it will help the Japanese win the war. He is so focused on this goal that he even convinces Colonel Saito to lend him Japanese labor to make the project go faster.
The movie’s dramatic finale begins when a drop in the water level exposes the wires that the commando team used to connect the explosives to the detonator. When Colonel Nicholson notices these wires, instead of keeping silent or otherwise aiding the commando team, he promptly notifies Colonel Saito. The Japanese immediately attack the British commando squad. Although Colonel Saito dies, so do three of the four members of the commando team. Only Commander Shears remains to try to detonate the explosives. Fatally wounded, he swims across the river, dying at Colonel Nicholson’s feet before he can trigger the explosives. Nicholson realizes that Shears is his former, escaped campmate.
Only at this moment, with three commandos dead, a fourth dying, and a train full of Japanese dignitaries heading for an inaugural ride across the beautiful bridge he built, does Nicholson suddenly become aware where his obsession has led. That results to the famous close-up of a horrified Nicholson saying “What have I done?”
This being a Hollywood movie, rather than real life, the movie doesn’t end with Nicholson watching the Japanese train travel successfully across the river, knowing that he handed the Japanese a victory in an epic showdown between civilization and tyranny. Instead, he gets hit by mortar fire and, mortally wounded, stumbles towards the detonator, collapsing on top of it in time to blow up both bridge and train.
The #NeverTrumpers, of course, are Colonel Nicholson. They’re going to prove to the world how wonderful they and their ideas are, never mind that their obsessive focus on ideological purity and their unwillingness to sully themselves by associating with a man as crude and unintellectual as Trump will hand victory to an ideology that will make it impossible for their ideology to function in America again for decades, at least. Moreover, because this is not a Hollywood movie, they cannot continue to be stubborn now, knowing that there’s going to be a satisfying ending with the #NeverTrumpers, on the morning of Tuesday, November 8, 2016, suddenly having their “What Have I Done?” moment and, with their dying breaths, destroying Hillary’s presidential campaign. No. The #NeverTrumpers need to have their “What Have I Done?” moment now if we are to prevent disaster.
And make no mistake: If Hillary wins, we are looking at an epic disaster. As Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, and other committed, principled, highly intelligent conservatives have realized, the time for ideological purity is over. In an existential situation, with a binary choice between bad and dead, morality demands that you choose bad.
President Hillary Clinton will:
- Turn the Supreme Court into an activist, hard-Left engine of permanent change;
- Narrow the First Amendment to the point of meaninglessness, giving government the final say over who gets free speech (and you can see what this will look like by visiting any college or university in America except for Hillsdale);
- Narrow the Second Amendment to the point of meaninglessness, giving government the absolute right to seize all privately held arms;
- Grant full amnesty and voting rights to all the illegal aliens already in America;
- Abandon any effort at controlling our Southern border;
- Continue to turn the American military into a vast social justice and climate change experiment;
- Continue to destroy the American economy by (a) funding crony-style climate change initiatives and (b) making it impossible for ordinary Americans to get affordable energy from clean coal, oil, and natural gas;
- Raise taxes to pay for her war against the climate;
- Deny the existence of Islamic fundamentalism, something exceptionally cruel, not only to non-Muslims killed by Islamists, but to those peaceful Muslims who need someone to partner with them to help bring about an Islamic reformation;
- Cultivate her close ties with rich, radical Islamists, aided by Huma Abedin (scion of the Muslim Brotherhood) and by all of her other long-standing Islamic funders;
- Turn her back on Israel, a nation she’s always approached with hostility, abandoning it to the Islamic/Arab savagery that surrounds it;
- Destroy the last remnants of a free market in America by tightening her cronyist connection to Wall Street and her regulatory control over businesses and individuals;
- Be exceptionally vulnerable to blackmail from all those nations that are sitting on her emails, both the 30,000 she destroyed, as well as the ones already in FBI hands; and
- Continue to divide America by focusing on victim groups in order to retain those groups’ fealty to the Democrat party.
Nothing Donald Trump does can or will be as bad. While Hillary, as the “first woman” president, will get full cooperation from all Democrats and all RINOS (which means most GOP Congress critters), Congress will rediscover the separation of powers when Donald is President, reining in his greater excesses. In addition, Donald has indicated that he will:
- Appoint conservative justices to the Supreme Court;
- Look to conservatives for advice about his executive management;
- Control our out-of-control bureaucracy (and his management experience indicates that he can do this);
- Reinstate enforcement of America’s existing immigration laws and border policies;
- Maintain Americans’ right to keep and bear arms;
- Maintain Americans’ right to free speech;
- Continue to chip away at the mind-control that is political correctness;
- Stand by Israel;
- Acknowledge that we are at war with radical Islam and turn to the best minds to help us wage that war successfully; and
- Speak to all Americans, not just special-interest groups.
Trump will be an imperfect president, but all presidents are imperfect. Even Ronald Reagan, in his heyday, did stupid things or things that his supporters disliked. It is inconceivable, though, that Trump could ever be as destructive as Hillary most certainly will be.
Don’t be a #NeverTrumper. Don’t get so caught up in ideological purity that you forget that we’re fighting a real war of ideas with only one winner and one loser. Do not be Colonel Nicholson and focus so obsessively on your wonderfulness that you hand victory to the political enemy. This is war and we get once chance not to destroy America. Vote Trump, no matter how much you wish you didn’t have to.