We're members of a minority: Jewish Blue-State professionals who plan to vote for Donald Trump. As Blue-Staters and as Jews, we have many friends and co-religionists who consider themselves progressives. As often disappointed conservatives and chagrined members of the Republicans' professional class, we have many friends and colleagues who consider themselves NeverTrumps. We get their angst, but we're tired of the self-righteous insistence that support for Trump is "unprincipled." They get the principle exactly backwards.
According to Rasmussen—whose polls tend to favor the GOP—Trump's support among Republicans is only 69 percent. Our inclusion in that number flows from our principled opposition to the damage that progressivism has already inflicted on our great nation. Under Obama, the United States—founded as the embodiment of classic eighteenth century liberal ideals—has turned away from its Judeo-Christian and Western roots, expanded government intrusiveness and control, robbed individuals of their agency as autonomous decision-makers, ignored the rule of law, and imperiled the global spread of prosperity. Hillary Clinton seeks to finish the job.
If there are conservatives arguing that Clinton is either unserious or incapable of achieving her stated goal, those trumpeting—and trumping up—Trump's shortcomings have drowned them out—helping Clinton in effect, if not in intent. The 11 percent of Republicans that Rasmussen shows supporting Gary Johnson stand between Clinton's aggressively progressive America and a philosophically idiosyncratic Trump presidency. We prefer the latter—on principle—and implore all principled conservatives (explicitly including the NeverTrumps) to do the same. Trump was not the champion we sought, but he is the one we have. The only one.
The distinction may be clearest in the cultural and social realms. Trump seems content to let homosexual couples form families, Christian bakers opt out of gay weddings, states decide the question of transgender bathroom use, and women choose abortions as long as they are not subsidized—even when his personal beliefs and choices may point in other directions. He seems singularly unlikely to crusade over such issues. This stance defines a libertarian middle ground likely to satisfy neither social conservatives nor social progressives. And while the two of us do not always agree on these issues, we are clear that a non-ideological libertarian neutral is far superior to the crusading progressive that Clinton has promised to be.