Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President

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The election of Donald Trump in 2016 didn’t just shock the country, it jolted the Republican Party and forced an overdue reckoning between rank-and-file Republicans and party leadership. Long-held beliefs promoted by the Republican Party establishment were smashed in real time as Republican voters, and millions of Obama voters especially in the Midwest, rejected the bi-party consensus on illegal immigration, international trade pacts, and losing foreign wars. The GOP―and the conservative movement―was upended by a brash Manhattan mogul who connected with coveted working-class voters in a way no other Republican presidential candidate had in three decades.

Stung by his ascendancy as Republican voters rejected one establishment candidate after another during the presidential primaries, exiled conservative leaders banded together to form what is known as “NeverTrump.” This cabal of self-proclaimed conservatives includes two former Republican presidential nominees, former Republican lawmakers and Bush administration officials, campaign consultants, and editors and writers at top conservative publications.

After failing to stop Trump in 2016, NeverTrump became part of #TheResistance, a crusade primarily organized by the Left to sabotage Trump’s presidency. The very same people who had used the Republican Party as their vehicle for power, fame, and influence are actively working to destroy the party’s leader and punish Trump-supporting Republicans in Washington. NeverTrump helped deceive the public about nonexistent Russian election collusion and supported impeaching the president. Some jumped on the Left’s mob against Brett Kavanaugh and the Covington Catholic High School students. NeverTrump opposed nearly every Trump policy without offering any alternative to what they derisively called “Trumpism.”

At the same time, NeverTrump became what they claimed to despise about Donald Trump: petty, vengeful, bombastic, reactionary, and abusive. As a result, it’s imperative that those associated with NeverTrump never hold a place of influence in the GOP again.

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Editorial Reviews


Disloyal Opposition is a deft exposé of NeverTrump, a small group of former conservatives, nearly all of them occupying posts in Washington, who never came to terms with the election of Donald Trump and have spent the last three years working against everything they once believed. Julie Kelly names names in this rapid-fire account, describing how these formerly influential conservatives joined with Democrats and left-wing philanthropists in a campaign to bring down the most conservative president since Ronald Reagan.”―James Piereson, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and president of the William E. Simon Foundation

“Julie Kelly offers a bombshell description of the descent of the so-called NeverTrump Republicans from initial opposition to Trump to bitter and often ugly derangement―ending, as she points out, in political irrelevance, echo-chamber banality, Beltway neuroticism, hypocritical renunciations of most of their own prior positions, useful idiocy in service to the billionaire Left, and careers reduced to Twitter obsessions. Throughout her entire j’accuse exposé, Kelly names names and pulls no punches in a lively, carefully documented, and damning anatomy of one of the strangest cases of collective political suicide in modern memory.”―Victor Davis Hanson, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

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“Rarely have dismalness of subject and liveliness of treatment come together in such a delightful way. Julie Kelly gives us a blow-by-blow treatment of the Washington Generals’ team bus catching fire, spinning out of control, and speeding off a cliff. The spectacle is horrible, yet you can’t help feeling that the people on board deserved it.”―Michael Anton, lecturer and research fellow, Hillsdale College

“It’s no surprise the Left wants to destroy President Trump. But some people who call themselves ‘Conservatives’ have the same objective. Find out who they are and what they’ve done by reading Julie Kelly’s Disloyal Opposition. President Trump broke the establishment, including fake Conservatives like Bill Kristol. Julie Kelly’s Disloyal Opposition is essential reading for all who believe in Making America Great Again.”―Sebastian Gorka, host of America First and former strategist to President Trump

Julie Kelly shows how many Republican publicists have masqueraded their growing identity with America’s leftist ruling class by pretending mere opposition to Donald Trump’s peculiarities. Disloyal Opposition performs a valuable service by demonstrating that the Never Trump movement opposes not one man, but rather the American people’s priorities – in short, that politics has consequences. –Angelo M. Codevilla, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University

About the Author

Julie Kelly is a former political consultant in suburban Chicago and a stay-at-home mom. She is a senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at the FederalistNational Review, the Hill, and the Wall Street Journal. Kelly wrote about food policy, agriculture, and climate change before covering politics in the Trump era. She lives in Orland Park, Illinois, with her husband and two daughters.

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