This election is a binary choice. American voters can choose between honor and dishonor. They can choose liberty or tyranny. They can vote for major party demagogues, or they can vote for a serious candidate —Independent, Evan McMullin.
McMullin, an ex-CIA operative and former policy director for the House Republican Conference, announced his long shot bid for the presidency in early August, after conservatives with higher name-recognition turned down pleas to enter the race.
In an interview with NPR, McMullin explained his motivations for entering the race by saying, “Seeing that no one else would get into the race to offer the American people a better choice, I decided to get in and try to do just that.”
And a better choice is exactly what the American people need.
According to RealClearPolitics averages, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by about 53 percent of Americans, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is viewed unfavorably by a whopping 60.4 percent of Americans. And the people have good reason to be dissatisfied with the choice between these candidates — based on their records and public statements, neither Clinton nor Trump are suited for the responsibilities of the Oval Office.
If that polling is anywhere close to accurate, the American people must be treating their votes as a chance to block one of these two deplorable candidates.
On the other hand, McMullin offers voters a chance to vote for thoughtful policy proposals firmly rooted in a conservative political philosophy.
“Our basic rights are God-given,” McMullin said at an early campaign rally. “Every American is created equal and has the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The fundamental purpose of government is to secure, not define, these rights for every member of our diverse society.”
From this fundamental principle, McMullin has built a platform that resembles the draft platform proposed by Hillsdale’s own president Larry Arnn and rejected by the Republican National Committee. By promising to rein in the administrative state, secure America’s leading role in foreign affairs, and promote free enterprise both at home and in the international arena, McMullin is promising to restore government of, by, and for the people.
McMullin’s principled approach to policy also offers conservatives a chance to preserve the honor of their movement. By building his campaign around the essential American principle that “all men are created equal,” McMullin shows conservatives the way to avoid allegations of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that have plagued the Trump campaign.
Trump’s divisive rhetoric not only undermines his support among growing voter demographics, it also distracts from his alleged pro-life stances on social issues. McMullin, in contrast, frequently talks about the inherent dignity of every human being. Far from pushing away minority voters, McMullin’s rhetoric about common goods, natural rights, and the value of human life is precisely what conservatives need to employ to persuade growing blocs of voters to vote for a pro-life, conservative agenda.
Regardless of whether conservatives stick with the Republican Party or try to build a new party to fight for constitutional liberty, voting for McMullin sends a signal to the political elite that conservatives are tired of the dishonor of business-as-usual.
By any estimation, the United States is fast approaching a time of crisis.Terrorist groups and hostile regimes are on the march once again overseas. The national debt has skyrocketed past $19 trillion. 54 million babies have been aborted since the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade in 1973. Out-of-control federal agencies subvert the checks and balances that once defined our republic. Zealous social justice warriors attempt to use the power of government to further their ideological ends. And, as if all that wasn’t enough, the American people are perhaps more polarized today than they have been at any time since the Civil War.
The country needs serious statesmanship to navigate the treacherous waters ahead. The business-as-usual politicking of the RNC and the Democratic Party gave the American people candidates utterly incapable of uniting the nation around the solutions necessary to fix its problems.
McMullin may not be the statesman for our times, either. But, he is a good man trying to do the right thing for the right reasons. And that’s far closer to what the American people need than what George Washington called the “frightful despotism” of “the alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by a spirit of revenge.”
A vote for either Clinton or Trump is a vote to send an incredibly unqualified, petty, and selfish demagogue to the White House. This country does not have to endure such dishonor. Instead, voters ought to consider casting their ballot for common decency, sound policy, and the American tradition of ordered liberty and self-government. Voters should consider voting for Evan McMullin.
Lucchese is a junior majoring in American Studies and minoring in journalism.