Dylan Goldberger

It feels good to not hate every public figure you disagree with.

It feels good to glance across the aisle and catch glimpses of humanity, of common understanding, of something approaching decency.

But unless you want to make the next two years even harder on yourself, you have to stop.

The fetishizing of the supposed political moderate is everywhere these days. It’s in the amnesia-afflicted Democrats who giggle with glee over Michelle Obama sharing candy with George W. Bush. It’s in the faith so many had to trust for even one second that Arizona Senator Jeff Flake (an on-the-nose surname if there ever was one) might actually vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation. It’s in the willingness of the Missouri Democratic Party and even Bernie Sanders to open the tent to anti-choice candidates and platforms—because at the end of the day, women’s rights are still seen as a fringe issue.

And in the midst of this radical devotion to the feckless moderate, Never Trumpers, the faction of the Republican Party who digs Trump’s politics but cringe at his aesthetics, have a good thing going. Every conservative member of the New York Times editorial board voted against Trump. Useless Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse got a book deal out of not being an obvious asshole.

In the recent Oregon gubernatorial race, Knute Buehler touted the claim that he didn’t vote for Trump—he wrote in John Kasich’s name instead—as if that made him any less of a Republican or any worthier an opponent to Kate Brown. Fortunately, Oregon voters didn’t take Buehler’s faux-moderate bait. Brown beat him by a good six percentage points, cementing that idea that, in Oregon at least, words have to be backed up by actions.

When you’re being fed a steady diet of straight bullshit, diet bullshit might sound like a nice change. It’s tempting to smash the retweet button each time a Republican politician contradicts Trump. It’s soothing to imagine that a Bush or a Rubio or a Romney could save us all.

But unless you want to compromise not only your sanity but also your values, withhold your trust from the conservative establishment. And that includes the people who only seem to hate Trump as much as you do.