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I’ve been a NeverTrumper for nearly a year now. The day Senator Ted Cruz dropped out, I began searching for a candidate who wasn’t merely the least-evil, but whose candidacy advocated for policies I support. I flirted with the Libertarians, but found Gary Johnson lacking, especially on religious liberties.* The other libertarians I hear from keep doing the best they can to convince me they aren’t really serious.
Then came the Constitution Party. They were very friendly, even going so far as to invite me to attend their state committee meeting. But I had some major questions about their party platform, especially on foreign policy. I asked a few questions at the committee meeting, and was promised their vice presidential candidate, Scott Bradley, would answer me personally. (This was the genesis for a solicitation of questions post I wrote back in May; nothing happened with it because Bradley never called, despite five promises from the state chair that he would). Bradley, after all, was the best qualified person to answer my questions. At the state party meeting one of the committee members actually asked one of my questions to the Party’s chair — “What’s our position on Israel?” — and the chair didn’t know the answer. They had to look it up. Answer: “We don’t want any foreign entanglements; Israel is perfectly capable of taking care of itself if the US just stays out of its way.” By mid-June I was convinced I’d be leaving my vote for president this year blank. But then Monday arrived, with the surprise announcement of an Independant run from Evan McMullin.
Now, I didn’t know McMullin from Fred Cooper Ronaldson (a name I made up just now), but his Open Letter to America said things I’d been thinking. I read his interview with National Review and watched his appearance on Fox News opposite Rudy Gulianni. For a new-comer to the public eye, he was making quite a splash. I visited his website and read his positions on a handful of issues. (They’re a little brief right now, but I’m told they will be fleshed out in the coming few weeks). I liked a lot of what I read, but I still wasn’t convinced. Was he in this to play the spoiler? How much of this does he actually believe and what’s there for political expediency? How much of my liking him comes from my distaste for the other candidates and how much is because he actually represents my values and positions?