As far back as November of last year, I’ve made one consistent promise: if Donald Trump were to become the Republican nominee, I will support Hillary Clinton over him.
In January, I put that promise into a longer form article reasserting this pledge while still holding out hope that Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz would win the day.
When the final dreams were dashed in May, as Ted Cruz announced his withdrawal from the race, I tweeted #ImWithHer and started my own personal firestorm.
My reasoning has remained constant: I don’t care for or endorse Hillary Clinton. That’s not the point. I was going to vote for her if my state was competitive for the simple reason that I prefer opposing her for four years over allowing Donald Trump to deliver the killing blow to conservatism by defining it for even one presidential term.
Every time someone has said “you’re basically allowing Hillary to win” I’ve replied, “Yes. That is exactly what I’m doing. I am saying I would rather Hillary win.” It’s not a “gotcha.” That’s my stated position.
When David French was first floated as a potential candidate, I felt he wasn’t interested and so I didn’t give it much serious consideration. When Gary Johnson won the libertarian ticket, I looked at him closely. Some of his positions concerned me related to foreign policy and abortion.
When I mentioned that people would push back “You saying you agree with Hillary MORE on those issues?” Those people continued to miss the point.
I only had two options: Either vote for a spoiler candidate that can stop Trump (Hillary) or vote for a candidate I believe in.
I don’t believe in Gary Johnson.
I do believe in Evan McMullin.
Evan came into this race with no real name recognition. No real “shot” at winning. But the more I watched him and listened to him, the more I found myself nodding my head and agreeing with him, the more I felt I could relate to what he was doing.
No, he didn’t “have a shot” as far as the pundit class was concerned. And they had good reason to believe it. He wasn’t just an underdog, he was a nothing dog.
But he kept going anyway. For one simple reason and one that I completely relate to given how this election has gone: he felt obligated.
I’ve sensed that about him from the beginning. And I feel that so many people who work in politics who have taken a stand against the GOP and their apparent desire to be cast out into the wilderness have done the same thing.
From people resigning their posts in protest, quitting writing gigs, ending relationships with longtime allies, to leaving the Republican party and setting voter cards on fire, they have all felt it.
There has been a rebellion inside the Republican party, with some leaving promising only to return if there is nothing short of a coup.
The pundit class scoffs at the idea that McMullin is one to lead that charge. They paint him as one of the very insiders that we allegedly oppose.
But the evidence is the opposite.
While those with the political capital to spend deemed cowardice and lock-step to be a safer route, McMullin risked his entire career to stand up to the GOP candidate. He took the laughs. He took the mockery.
And now he’s poised to take Utah.
It’s unheard of and it’s not in the script. And yet it’s happening.
But I’ve hesitated to come to this conclusion. The reason goes back to the very thing that started my adventure in Democrat candidates: whoever I vote for must hurt Trump. He’s too dangerous to risk letting into the oval office.
Gary Johnson takes votes away from someone. But generally speaking, he seems to hurt Hillary more than he hurts Trump.
There’s very little doubt about who Evan McMullin pulls votes from, and here in South Carolina where Trump is still enjoying a commanding lead over the rest of the field, voting for and supporting Evan McMullin will serve a true purpose in helping to stop Trump while not forcing me to vote for someone I’m not particularly interested in seeing win.
The next four years will be tough for conservatives. We will be washing the stain of Trump off for a long time. We still need to purge our ranks of so many charlatans and hacks that sold out conservatism, and even Christianity, all in the name of tribalism.
I have no interest in returning to who I was before Donald Trump took over my party. None of us should be tempted to go back to tribal bomb throwing and mindless hatred of our political opponents. I’m not interested in the party as it was before it was blown to pieces, and you shouldn’t be either. It’s what put us here.
We should want to work with people. Yes, from all sides of the political spectrum. Because tribalism, treating politics as a team sport, ain’t working. And there are 19 trillion examples I can give you as proof.
Evan McMullin and his recently announced Vice Presidential running mate, Mindy Finn, have been at the tip of the spear in the resistance against the true Establishment.
An Establishment that doesn’t care how many terms you’ve served. Doesn’t care who your donors are. Doesn’t care who endorses you. Only cares about one thing: Will you obey?
Evan and Mindy would not. And neither will I.
Evan McMullin for President.
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