Earlier this year the British government asked the people for help in naming a $287 million polar research ship paid for by the people’s taxes. The people responded enthusiastically. More than 124,000 of them voted to give the austere ship a playful name: Boaty McBoatface. This was not what the Science Ministry in Britain had in mind. What started out as a joke — the man who originally proposed Boaty McBoatface even apologized for it — became an unstoppable meme. No other name garnered even a small percentage of the votes that Boaty McBoatface got. Story sound familiar?
The government predictably ignored the will of the people and named the ship after Sir David Attenborough, the British naturalist and broadcaster. The choice of Attenborough, who finished 4th in the popular vote, better reflected the ship’s mission, the government said. This is what the Republicans in the #NeverTrump contingent are trying to do. They held a primary and Trump, who traditionalists consider as appropriate as Boaty McBoatface, won the thing. Trump won by about the same massive margin as Boaty McBoatface did. Now the party elite is trying to substitute its own version of David Attenborough for Trump — essentially saying that the people who voted were wrong. They’re having a harder time than the Brits, though. Boaty McBoatface was just a name — he wasn’t a real reality star.