A figure in the public eye is bound to elicit all sorts of public opinion — and when that figure is running for president, those opinions magnify to unprecedented heights. Donald Trump is easily the most contentious, hotly-debated character to vie for the White House, particularly with his history of freely-spoken remarks and questionable values. There are many on both sides of the American political spectrum who dislike the former reality star and real estate developer — and one such group calls themselves Conservatives Against Trump, in defiance of the GOP presumptive nominee. The development of this organization of right-wingers was quite organic, coming about simultaneously as Trump moved through the ranks of candidacy.
The cluster of famous conservatives who have actively decided against Trump consist primarily of right-wing leaders in politics, media, and communities across America. Some such leaders include individuals like radio talk show host Erick Erickson, former George W. Bush adviser Bill Wichterman, and businessman Bob Fischer. The group is assembled loosely across the nation with a single goal in mind: do not allow Donald Trump to achieve the presidency. Due to varying locations, however, the dozens of conservatives involved do not adhere to a specific plan or candidate. As it stands, they are not supporting one candidate across states, so there is still some level of discrepancy as concerns a specific approach.
In an interview with CNN, a representative from the group explained, "We believe the political environment remains wide open for a qualified conservative candidate to emerge. We are working to identify an alternative candidate, obtain the necessary ballot access through a state-by-state effort and develop a comprehensive campaign plan to enable victory in November."
Although they did not pledge to back a third-party or independent candidate, Conservatives Against Trump have high hopes of voting for someone — and someone who isn't Hillary Clinton or Trump. It seems a major objection to Mr. Trump is that conservatives feel he brings the meaning of conservatism into question. Many of his policies have manifested in the form of left-wing — or almost left-wing — talking points, so ideological Republicans and conservative-minded individuals feel he is almost synonymous with Clinton and the American Left.
At present, Conservatives Against Trump are in the process of establishing an exit strategy from Trump Republicanism. Whether this will eventually bring this frustrated organization to a third-party candidate, a write-in candidate, or reactionary protest come the Republican National Convention in July, one thing is for certain: they will not vote for Donald Trump.