It happened. I finally saw an element of #WalkAway in action, with a friend announcing a distancing from the left no one thought possible.
This friend has had a long theological and political ride which I have observed over a decade in which we have known each other. Theologically, since high school, he has moved from dispensationalist evangelicalism to atheism to Catholicism to conservative Protestantism and back again to Catholicism. In his time as a Catholic, he has also changed. He had been a traditionalist but is now more comfortable with a more moderate tone while still holding to no heterodoxies about practicing the faith. He also maintains full adherence that this Pope is fully orthodox in his pronouncements and opinions, putting him opposite some right-wing Catholics in this country.
Politically, I have seen his transition from fairly conventional conservatism in high school and a defender of the War in Iraq to libertarianism early in college and hatred of neocon foreign policy to economic Marxism for a while after college (while still being socially conservative, like [Dorothy Day|wiki link]) to now being what is called in Europe a “[christian democrat|wiki link]”, with which he has identified for a few years.
He has long been disaffected from both major parties, as well as the Libertarian Party. He maintains a strong belief in anthropogenic climate change and has thought it was the only issue more important than abortion in deciding his votes the last few cycle due to its potential severity, but overall the corruption from all sides was such that he largely recoiled from the political process.
The rise of Trump made him even more cynical, and his view of him was such that he supported Clinton to try to keep him from power. He has largely checked out since the last election and withdrew from worrying about the day to day news cycle, in no small part to preserve his health.
Then the Kavanaugh nomination occurred.
He has been jaded with almost all conservatives a very long time, and though he prefers their style of judges (i.e., Scalia), it hasn’t been a motivating factor in voting. When the allegations by Blasey Ford came out, he was and still is sympathetic to them, to the point he thinks Brett Kavanaugh may have been the one who did it.
What changed during the process?
He saw the effort to negate due process by the left. He saw the overwrought reaction leading up to the final vote, and the response to Kavanaugh’s confirmation and the vitriol and violence they have brought about since then. He was in arguments with old friends who rejected due process for Kavanaugh and others in this situation.
It finally broke him. He said that, with a metaphorical gun to his head, if the left does not abandon their new stance on due process rights for those accused of sexual crimes, he will have no choice but to support Trump come 2020.
He still despises him, and dislikes much of the Republican program, and thinks Trump is a terrible human being on almost all levels. But, he has conceded that he has not had major violations of citizens’ rights with mass arrests and the like. He said Trump has spoken like an authoritarian but has not actually carried out an agenda like it, due to either the constraints of our system or cooler heads in the admin stopping him. To him, the fact that nothing has happened has allayed a lot of his fears.
The bigger tell is that now the radical left has attacked a keystone element of Western Civilization, and given their behavior the last month, he now truly believes they would attempt to deprive the accused of their rights in the name of tearing down the Patriarchy and White Privilege, and that cannot be allowed to happen.
My friend is still cynical. He hates both major parties, and most third parties, too. He is despondent on our current political climate and where it is headed. He is still very much more an economic collectivist than not. But, at this time, he can give no Democrat a vote to be in power, at least federally, to the point he will support Donald Trump for re-election.
If this is the way the Democrat Party thinks it will come back to power, by promoting the abandonment of bedrock judicial principles, keep doing it. The #WalkAway movement is a testament to their success, and conservatives will continue to reap rewards for their doing so.
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