Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., Wednesday, March 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“Unity” is a dirty word, especially this election cycle. The word reminds me of groupthink, that which liberals love. It doesn’t ask those in the electorate to consider their vote carefully beyond party loyalty.

As has been clear for a while, the GOP front-runner is not a conservative. The damage from a Trump presidency would be long-lasting in ways much different than a Hillary presidency. While I believe both would introduce policies which would be disastrous, the Trump effect would chip away at conservatism as a whole. Hillary vocally stands in opposition to conservatism because she is a liberal. Trump knowingly stands in opposition to conservatism while pretending to wave a banner of allegiance to it. We can counteract a Hillary effect with its strong opposite. We cannot counteract Trump with a crumbling foundation.

Speaker Paul Ryan’s meeting with Donald Trump on Thursday left us with what we expected: the idea that progress had been made toward unification. As FOX News reports:

Much was at stake for the presumptive nominee, for Ryan and for the party itself. The meeting was called after Ryan last week declined to endorse Trump – at a press conference following the meeting, Ryan still would not publicly do so.

Reprising comments from a day earlier, Ryan said: “This is a process. It takes a little time. You don’t put it together in 45 minutes. … I don’t want us to have a fake unification process here.”

At the same time, Ryan said he was “very encouraged” and they are “planting the seeds” to get unified.

As far as I’m concerned, a “fake unification process” has already begun as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, and former GOP candidates from this cycle (many who refused to back Trump months ago), have attempted to force-feed Trump to us. Such a process would not have to take place if the seeds of conservatism were found in Trump and his campaign. However, as we know, they are not.

Now those who refuse to ever back Trump, such as myself, have been charged with neglecting their country or abandoning their party. It is because we care about our country that we will not support Trump the imposter. As far as party loyalty is concerned, we have no interest in placing that above principle.

The Left and their likely nominee, Hillary Clinton, sit back and laugh at the Right’s lack of unity. But that is no reason to unify behind someone like Trump is an attempt to prove them wrong. It’s not the #NeverTrumper’s fault that the field of several qualified, actual conservative candidates were rejected during primary voting. We had our pick of solid choices, but the majority gave that up for flash and – what may likely come in November – failure.

If we are to grow a strong conservative party, we must absolutely reject unity with the pro-Trump hordes. Many have already left the GOP because of this, and others will follow their lead. We either fracture, learn from GOP mistakes, and grow a purely principled party, or water down already weak principles, and give up for the sake of “unity”.