Remind the GOP They Don’t Own You: Vote McMullin

 

If you believe Donald Trump represents the best available means to save the republic from the Left, then you should vote for him. There’s no shortage of good, intelligent, and wise people who’ve come to that judgment and Clinton is sufficiently awful that I can’t, in good conscience, say I know you’re wrong.

However, if you believe Donald Trump’s judgement, character, and policy positions make him an unacceptably poor candidate for the presidency — as, indeed, I do — then I suggest you not accept him. The Republican Party is not entitled to our votes, and signaling that we’re willing to accept anyone with a “R” after his name is an invitation to be ignored and taken for granted. Especially for those in deep-red or deep-blue states, there are prudential reasons for telling the GOP that it failed to earn our votes and to get stuffed until it learns the lesson. There is no clearer way to send that message than to vote for Evan McMullin.

Why not Gary Johnson? To begin with, I believe libertarians and conservatives are best served by working together and — even with the state the GOP is in today — I’ve little reason to think the Libertarian Party is the best vessel for classical liberal ends. More specifically, Johnson’s cluelessness on foreign policy and his 180-degrees-from-right position on freedom of conscience (among other things) make him particularly ill-suited as a protest vote. I don’t often get to say this, but I expect better of the Libertarian Party. As a man without a party, running in response to a specific situation, McMullin does not pose the same risk an emboldened Libertarian Party does.

I’m not particularly excited to vote for McMullin, whose campaign still reeks of the NeverTrump desperation from which — after several miscarriages — it eventually spawned. And whether it’s an affect or a genuine part of his character, I find McMullin’s tendency to come off as an apple-polishing teacher’s pet deeply grating. However, McMullin’s resume is impressive and honorable; his positions on foreign policy are solid; and a former CIA spook who appears to think Americans are the best guardians of their security and privacy is, frankly, bracing.

Remind the GOP that, if expects your vote, you expect a minimally competent and honorable candidate. Vote McMullin.

There are 84 comments.

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  1. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    JLocked:Third Parties band together. Hell, you convinced me. I’ll switch from Sir Bongs-a-Lot to McMullin.

    Woot!

    • #31
  2. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Voting my conscience means not casting anything for a megalomaniac dingbat to be Commander in Chief. Also I’m an ardent Free Market believer. Trump is Bernie Sanders without the charisma. (the only NeverTrump thing I’ll ever say)

    • #32
  3. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    I had been more happy about McMullin. I went to a (low dollar) fundraiser, got other people to donate, and purchased some swag. At his fundraiser, he apologized to me for making the dishonest claim that Lincoln was a third party candidate. His spokeswoman, Rina Shah said that they’d fix it and get back to me. They didn’t. The claim is still up and they stopped talking to me.

    McMullin said that it probably wasn’t a big deal and that not a lot of people would care about it, and I can see his argument. They’re not a consistently dishonest campaign like Johnson’s, and they’re not a campaign with the apathy toward the truth of Trump; they’re prone to citing things and those things generally say what they say they’ll say. Given that they don’t say a lot, though, we couldn’t tell if they were Clintonian in their honesty. For a campaign with so little to lose by following principle (in this instance, deleting a pretty old Facebook post that was not popularly received long after its shares and other value to them had dissipated, or better still not stooping to that sort of a claim) to decide to stick with opportunism struck me as confirming the worst about Wilson. Well, the worst was that he’d choose to focus on making savage attacks on his party, including those downticket from Trump, but his preference for opportunism over principle was his second worst, and one that I hadn’t previously considered demonstrated.

    Just to rub things in, Johnson in his book’s list of third party candidates does not list Lincoln and he does not claim that Lincoln was. McMullin still features in my list of people I encourage people to vote for (along with Trump, Clinton, Stein, and local write in candidates), but the list of candidates that I feel good about supporting is now reduced to Stein.

    • #33
  4. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Karl Nittinger:

    Ekosj: If ‘None of the Above’ was an actual choice, I might select that. But it isn’t.

    But it is. There is no obligation to vote for the office of president when you go into the voting booth.

    Regrettably, a vote for no one is 5% of a vote for Johnson. As such, anyone with a vote has a moral obligation to use it.

    • #34
  5. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Unfortunately as you hoist yourself on this petard, you elevate Bill and Hillary back to power, facilitate a hard larboard SCOTUS and put the country through at least four more years of Obama redux, but this time with unending scandal.

    A proud vote indeed.

    • #35
  6. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Unlike the guaranteed change we can believe in from a major party candidate!

    • #36
  7. Karl Nittinger Inactive
    Karl Nittinger
    @KarlNittinger

    James Of England: As such, anyone with a vote has a moral obligation to use it.

    With all due respect, that’s nonsense.

    • #37
  8. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    James Of England:

    Karl Nittinger:

    Ekosj: If ‘None of the Above’ was an actual choice, I might select that. But it isn’t.

    But it is. There is no obligation to vote for the office of president when you go into the voting booth.

    Regrettably, a vote for no one is 5% of a vote for Johnson. As such, anyone with a vote has a moral obligation to use it.

    I admit to not getting the 5% thing, but not using it is using it.  The perception of turnout matters.

     

    • #38
  9. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    WooHoo! Can write him in here in the Lone Star State. Well done Tom and @mrconservative — You got me slightly excited about an election. Cynicism, ever so slightly tempered.

    • #39
  10. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Karl Nittinger:

    James Of England: As such, anyone with a vote has a moral obligation to use it.

    With all due respect, that’s nonsense.

    Do you mean that not voting does not have that impact, or that that making that impact is morally legitimate?

    • #40
  11. Sash Member
    Sash
    @Sash

    I have no idea why so many people think the GOP is the enemy.

    This is why Democrats win.  They also think the GOP is the enemy… and everyone else is there friend.

    Why don’t we try to send the DNC a message of some kind with our vote?

    The GOP is pretty much over now anyway.

    You just don’t come back from Donald Trump.

    So why bother?

    • #41
  12. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Hoyacon:

    James Of England:

    Karl Nittinger:

    Ekosj: If ‘None of the Above’ was an actual choice, I might select that. But it isn’t.

    But it is. There is no obligation to vote for the office of president when you go into the voting booth.

    Regrettably, a vote for no one is 5% of a vote for Johnson. As such, anyone with a vote has a moral obligation to use it.

    I admit to not getting the 5% thing, but not using it is using it. The perception of turnout matters.

    Johnson has been running, since day one, with the intention of getting 5% of the vote and thus securing public funding for his 2020 run. He became the nominee this cycle without a majority of the vote of principled libertarians because he had the vote of the people who received money from his group in 2012 and expected to receive more this cycle and in the future. The LP choose their party through physical, in person, votes at their convention, so a very small number of party officials can be decisive.

    If you talk to the people who will be getting that money if they win, they will tell you (with enthusiasm) that almost every penny will be spent on defeating Republicans. As such, on the assumption that you believe that the 2020 Democratic nominee is almost certain to be dramatically worse for the country than the 2020 Republican nominee, there is a strong pragmatic ground for voting (it doesn’t particularly matter for whom one votes; any non-Jon will do).

    On a more principled basis, Johnson has been running his entire campaign without an interest in the issues and with an enthusiasm for pandering to his audience at the time moderated only by his laziness and lack of interest in researching what his audience would be interested in or the facts from which he might draw a coherent pandering statement. Voting for him is an endorsement of his morally disgusting campaign. Not voting provides him with the equivalent 5% of that vote.

    • #42
  13. AUMom Member
    AUMom
    @AUMom

    Doug Kimball:Unfortunately as you hoist yourself on this petard, you elevate Bill and Hillary back to power, facilitate a hard larboard SCOTUS and put the country through at least four more years of Obama redux, but this time with unending scandal.

    A proud vote indeed.

    Or the Republican party could have listened in May, June, and July when I swore there was no way I was ever going to vote for Trump. A proud party indeed.

    • #43
  14. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    Doug Kimball:Unfortunately as you hoist yourself on this petard, you elevate Bill and Hillary back to power, facilitate a hard larboard SCOTUS and put the country through at least four more years of Obama redux, but this time with unending scandal.

    As a Massachusetts resident, voting for Trump and voting for McMullin have precisely the same first-order effect: bupkis. Since we’re only arguing about second-order effects, I get to be picky.

    But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that someone in a swing state takes my advice and votes McMullin. Even then, this vote is mathematically and electorally distinct from a vote for Clinton. If Trump is ahead regardless of these votes, McMullin votes will not change that; if Clinton is ahead, though, you’re on your own.

    To rephrase part of my post, if Donald Trump exceeds your minimal standards for a president and you live in swing state, then I concede I am unlikely to change your mind at this point and wish you the best.

    • #44
  15. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Sweet! My Evan McMullin Virtue Semaphores just arrived express. I’m gonna signal like a mofo till you all get on deck.

    • #45
  16. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    The King Prawn:

    Israel P.: The whole point of Trump is that he is NOT the party.

    Tell that to the party and all the screaming about unity and how we must vote for him because he’s the party’s candidate.

    Yes, yes, indeed, the last three presidential nominees of the party — Bush, McCain, and Romney — are screaming, “Unity, unity!”

    Come on! Get real! Trump was an insurgent who imposed himself on a party that is an empty shell — an adjunct of the Chamber of Crony Capitalism. The “party” is supporting Trump the way a noose supports a hanging man.

    • #46
  17. Tom Meyer, Ed. Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Ed.
    @tommeyer

    JLocked:

    Sweet! My Evan McMullin Virtue Semaphores just arrived express. I’m gonna signal like a mofo till you all get on deck.

    • #47
  18. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    This is all fine — if there is not that much difference between the consequences of Hillary’s being President and Trump’s being President.

    If the difference is significant, this is childish and irresponsible — a cheap and silly gesture apt to end in tears.

     

    • #48
  19. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Like I said on Mr. Conservative’s thread, Im just happy to vote for someone who I actually think believes in limited government. I had no idea how much I have come to despise Gary Johnson until Tom righteously disabused me of his pot-addled notions. And a firm yet sober Commander in Chief? This just made this crap sandwich of an election into teramisu.

    • #49
  20. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    It is done. I have voted my conscience (again, did it in the primary, too) and will live with the consequences. In this state it means Hillary still gets exactly the same number of votes, which will likely be double digits ahead of Trump.

    • #50
  21. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Paul A. Rahe:

    The King Prawn:

    Israel P.: The whole point of Trump is that he is NOT the party.

    Tell that to the party and all the screaming about unity and how we must vote for him because he’s the party’s candidate.

    Yes, yes, indeed, the last three presidential nominees of the party — Bush, McCain, and Romney — are screaming, “Unity, unity!”

    Come on! Get real! Trump was an insurgent who imposed himself on a party that is an empty shell — an adjunct of the Chamber of Crony Capitalism. The “party” is supporting Trump the way a noose supports a hanging man.

    Paul, to what end? No Trump supporter has answered this yet. You’re the first one both smart enough and honest enough to give a cogent answer. If Hillary enters the answer, it is automatically invalid. The answer must be what comes of a Trump administration and valid reasons to believe this will be so.

    • #51
  22. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    The McMullin problem:

    1.  If I wanted Jeb! or Mitch McConnell for president, I’d vote for McMullin.
    2. For that reason, the more success McMullin has the more the DC power wing of the party will feel everything is just hunky-dory, no need for change.
    3. McMullin just tweeted that maybe after the election there can finally be a conservative movement that isn’t racist.  That guy ain’t getting my vote.
    • #52
  23. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Mark:

    1. McMullin just tweeted that maybe after the election there can finally be a conservative movement that isn’t racist. That guy ain’t getting my vote.

    He SAID that?? The man of my dreams! Oh my god. A conservative movement born of love of country and not nationalistic exclusion? I’m home! You can have your illiterate Populist.

    • #53
  24. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    I’m voting for McMullin in order to reject Trump, and Trumpkin ideals. Had McMullin not rose I’d of voted for Johnson. #NeverTrump really did miss an opportunity to set up a true independent candidate on every state ballot, but it is what it is.

    • #54
  25. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    I just called several friends in the service and convinced them to vote McMullin tomorrow. I really wish I hadn’t been so jaded. I could have delivered him South Texas.

    • #55
  26. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    JLocked:

    Mark:

    1. McMullin just tweeted that maybe after the election there can finally be a conservative movement that isn’t racist. That guy ain’t getting my vote.

    He SAID that?? The man of my dreams! Oh my god. A conservative movement born of love of country and not nationalistic exclusion? I’m home! You can have your illiterate Populist.

    That’s just conscious conservatism. The ideology that Reagan promoted. Which people have largely forgotten in order to defend White ID politics, national populism, and general alt right evil.

    It’s what Limbaugh claimed to be defending before his favorite liberal golf buddy wanted to run for President.

    • #56
  27. Tyler Boliver Member
    Tyler Boliver
    @Marlowe

    Paul A. Rahe:This is all fine — if there is not that much difference between the consequences of Hillary’s being President and Trump’s being President.

    If the difference is significant, this is childish and irresponsible — a cheap and silly gesture apt to end in tears.

    Oh I agree. Trump’s destruction of conservatism, and firmly turning the party into Democrat-Lite, anti capitalist, pro white id party, would be considerably more damaging.

    • #57
  28. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Got 10 people. I will get 100 by tomorrow. I really wish I had been doing this for the past few months.

    • #58
  29. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    JLocked:I just called several friends in the service and convinced them to vote McMullin tomorrow. I really wish I hadn’t been so jaded. I could have delivered him South Texas.

    It’s unlikely you’d find enough people in South Texas to buy into the McMullin “phenomenon” for delivery.  They’re pretty good at seeing through emperors with no clothes down there.   “Hey, this guy was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs!”  Click.

     

    • #59
  30. JLocked Inactive
    JLocked
    @CrazyHorse

    Hoyacon:

    JLocked:I just called several friends in the service and convinced them to vote McMullin tomorrow. I really wish I hadn’t been so jaded. I could have delivered him South Texas.

    It’s unlikely you’d find enough people in South Texas to buy into the McMullin “phenomenon” for delivery. They’re pretty good at seeing through emperors with no clothes down there. “Hey, this guy was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs!” Click.

    My hubris and ambition knows no bounds. I’m a poor kid from South Central. I was emancipated from my parents at 16 and went from homeless to Masters Degree. I don’t quit. I don’t complain. I just do. And if I feel this rejuvenated about politics I can sell anyone.

    • #60
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