I never would have guessed that keeping a promise would be the most controversial thing I ever did in my political career.
Throughout the primary, I insisted that Donald Trump was the only Republican candidate I would never support in the general election. Trump consistently reinforced the left's worst stereotypes about the GOP, and I assumed the rest of my party saw what I did: that he wouldn't just lose the White House and sink our under-ticket candidates, but also harm the image of conservatives for a generation.
What I was blind to — stupidly so — was a small but rabid minority in my party who didn't care about choosing the candidate most likely to win. Instead, they wanted the candidate who made them feel the best about hating the other side.
That's the biggest difference between Republicans like me and those who've embraced the Cult of Trump. I'll never vote for Hillary Clinton, but I don't hate her. I've worked for years to help conservatives, but there isn't a single Democrat I despise. And that, for some, is an unforgivable sin.
When Trump clinched the nomination, I didn't back efforts to replace him at the convention; he had followed the rules and won.
I did, however, remain true to my word: I wouldn't vote for Clinton, but I also wouldn't vote for Trump.Read the rest of Phil Van Treuren's op-ed HERE.
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