In my previous diary, I explained why both Trump and Hillary will be disasters as president, and why conservatives should vote for a conservative alternative. I also talked about how it’s tempting to vote strategically for Hillary out of fear of her losing to Trump, or out of a desire to cause him to lose in a landslide, but in the end, that argument is based largely on fear, and we can’t allow fear to influence such important decisions. In this diary, I intend to make the case for why Evan McMullin is not only a far better choice for president than Hillary or Trump, he’s qualified and ready to be president in his own right. The more I’ve learned about his life, the more impressed I’ve become with him both as a presidential candidate and as a man.
I believe if more people got to know the Evan I’ve gotten to know, albeit through research, they would be just as impressed, and would choose to support him, as I have. There are six different areas in which I’ve chosen to judge whether or not our current choices for president are qualified and fit for the office they seek, which will be split up into two diary entries. In those areas I’ve contrasted Evan’s skills and experiences with Trump’s and Hillary’s to give you a full and hopefully accurate picture of the differences between them. I hope you’ll reach the same conclusion I have about which of these candidates stands head and shoulders above the rest, but I’ll let you judge for yourself.
* * *
1)Economics and domestic policy-
Evan understands economics. He has a MBA from the Wharton school of Economics and was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. He knows what it takes to help businesses succeed and get the economy growing again.
Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue about economics and business, despite his repeated claims that he’s a good businessman. In fact, he was a terrible businessman. His companies went bankrupt many times, and pretty much every decision he made outside of real estate was a complete failure, which has been covered in depth by many reporters. Moreover, his plans for the economy would be a disaster. He would impose tariffs on imports, which might raise wages for some workers, but it would increase prices on many goods for all Americans, which would hurt the poor the most. Even worse, he has said he won’t touch entitlements, which are the biggest driver of our national debt. This is arguably the most important issue we face as a country. If entitlements aren’t reformed, most economists agree, we’ll go bankrupt. Yet on this issue Trump is hardly different than Hillary.
Evan actually would govern as a conservative, and has a detailed plan to solve our debt and deficit problems. He would in fact reform entitlements, lower taxes, promote free trade, cut spending, and reduce regulations that are strangling our businesses. Most importantly, Evan has a depth of knowledge on both foreign and domestic policy, having been the Chief Policy Director for the House Republican Conference. Trump, by comparison, knows little to nothing about policy and rarely talks about it on the campaign trail or in interviews. Hillary might know more about policy than Trump, but her policies are a continuation of the failed progressive ideas put forth by Obama and the Democrats. Only Evan has the knowledge and the conservative ideas and policies that I believe would be successful if implemented on a national scale.
2)Foreign policy and national security-
One of the biggest reasons I’ve been #NeverTrump from day one is because I’m convinced Trump would be an absolute catastrophe on foreign policy and national security. He has a horrible temperament and flies into a rage as soon as someone criticizes him. Our diplomatic efforts with many countries would be set back years with him as president, and there’s no telling what military conflicts he might get us into. He’s already said he’d force members of the military to obey his illegal orders as president. That alone should be enough to disqualify him from the presidency. But he’s also said that he would let Russia handle ISIS and wants to focus on problems at home, which is exactly the kind of talk Putin wants to hear. This would allow Russia to gain even more influence and power in the Middle East and Baltic States, which would inevitably lead to more armed conflicts in those areas.
Evan, on the other hand, has thought deeply about these issues, and has dealt with them in person for years. He knows the challenges we face in the most conflict-ridden areas of the world, and has plans for what we can do to solve them.
If elected, Evan would be the first president with foreign policy experience since George H.W. Bush, and his experience didn’t just involve flying around the world and meeting with foreign leaders like Hillary’s did. His was much more relevant. He spent over ten years in the CIA’s National Clandestine Service, which is an elite unit within the CIA that focuses on covert action and collection of intelligence from sources around the world. He was involved in counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and counter-intelligence, while providing invaluable information to our special forces and other officers in the CIA.
“While specific details of McMullin’s missions remain classified, intelligence goals at that time included gathering information on the Taliban, developing intelligence for strikes on terrorists and searching for high-value al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden, his former boss said.”
This is an ideal job to prepare one for the presidency because the president is presented with a daily intelligence briefing and must be able to make quick decisions about what intelligence is valuable and what isn’t, and what should be acted upon and what shouldn’t be. George W. Bush took us to war in part because he acted on faulty intelligence,which underscores just how important this aspect of the presidency is. Evan already has experience managing sources of intelligence and deciding which ones to use and which ones to discard.
Hillary isn’t even in the same league as Evan when it comes to competence in this area. She had a disastrous tenure as Secretary of State, especially when you take into account her failures to protect our security forces in Benghazi and her push for Qaddafi’s ouster, which led to the disintegration of that country into a failed state controlled by radical Islamic terrorists. I have no doubt that if Evan was Secretary of State at the time, he would’ve either pulled our special forces out of Benghazi, or would’ve sent in a larger force to protect them- and the Benghazi attack most likely wouldn’t have happened, or would’ve been stopped if it did.
Evan’s knowledge and experience in this area stands in sharp contrast to Trump’s complete and utter lack of knowledge and experience on anything related to foreign policy and national security. Trump has literally said he learns about foreign policy from watching “the shows”, and that he only consults with himself because “I have a very good brain”. Even worse, he’s refused to listen to intelligence experts’ briefings on Russia’s hacking of the DNC, and other issues relating to Russia and national security. It’s obvious that Trump would be a disaster on foreign policy the likes of which we’ve never seen in the history of this country. Why should we expect anything better, given that he hasn’t studied these issues at any point in his entire life?
Trump has been all over the map on every topic in these areas, and has been wrong pretty much every time he’s opened his mouth, whether it was his support for invading Iraq, his support for withdrawing troops early there, his support for invading Libya and taking out Qaddafi, or not having any clue about whether or not Ukraine was invaded by Russia.
When our military is involved in a conflict in another country and has a mission to accomplish, it’s important that they believe in the mission and that they trust the president. It’s also important that countries and groups we need as allies, like the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, the Jordanians, and the Syrian opposition fighters trust that the president’s word is good when he says he’ll commit to doing something. Evan has proven he’s a man who can be trusted:
“Kevin Hulbert, a former senior CIA official in the directorate of operations who worked with McMullin overseas, told me that McMullin’s steady personality, honesty and work ethic reassured potential intelligence sources who were risking their lives to help the United States.
“People who would be assets were drawn to that type of person. They needed to trust that he wouldn’t get them killed,” Hulbert said. “There were a lot of people who took an easier route at the agency. Evan was always in the middle of the fight.”
* * *
When it comes to foreign policy, it’s often the case that trying to avoid conflict, or showing signs of weakness and incompetence, is provocative to our enemies, who smell blood and go in for the kill like a shark.
In contrast to Obama’s lead from behind approach, and Trump’s “let’s ignore everything” approach, Evan recently wrote a very thoughtful article detailing his plans for both solving the humanitarian crisis caused by the civil war in Syria, and for defeating ISIS and bringing peace to that country. His plan calls for imposing a no fly zone over limited and targeted areas of Syria to protect the innocent civilians there, and taking the steps necessary to force Assad to step down one way or another. He would also arm the rebels who’ve been fighting Assad all along, but would thoroughly vet them first, and then make sure they received the support they needed from us, unlike the Obama administration, whose approach to this problem has been a disaster from the start.
Evan would take a proactive approach to foreign policy, getting involved in potentially dangerous situations early, so as to prevent them from escalating into more serious conflicts than eventually become unmanageable, as was the case with Syria. But he also describes how he would use an abundance of caution, and acknowledges that we’ve made mistakes in the past by being too aggressive and getting involved in conflicts without having a plan or an exit strategy, as was the case with George W. Bush in Iraq.
Most importantly when it comes to foreign policy, we need a president who speaks with moral clarity, and who calls out evil for what it is, as Reagan did when he called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire”. A president must lead with courage and conviction so that the rest of the world knows where America stands and what principles and values she stands for and against.
As a Senior Adviser to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Evan organized a hearing for a military photographer who defected from Syria after taking pictures of the mass casualties Assad inflicted on the innocent civilians there, in spite of the State Department putting pressure on him and everyone involved to cancel the hearing. This is exactly the kind of courage, conviction, and moral clarity in the face of adversity we need in a president. It’s been completely lacking in Obama’s presidency. He’s refused to stand up against evil rulers and with the people who fought against them, like when he stayed silent during Iran’s Green Revolution in 2009, or when he refused to call the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt a group that has affiliations with terrorists, and even pledged to work with them.
It’s time we elect a president who leads with strength and moral courage, but who also knows when to avoid unnecessary fights because he values the lives of our troops, and doesn’t want to risk them if he doesn’t have to. Evan has already proven he’s highly competent on foreign policy and has a wide range of knowledge and experience in this area that would serve him, and our country well if he became president.
3)Faith and character-
Many evangelicals now claim that character really doesn’t matter anymore, as long as we have a nominee who “fights for us” and will be our general in the culture wars. To hear them tell it, what he’s done in the past and the kind of person he is are completely irrelevant. Mind you, these are the same Christians who relentlessly attacked Bill Clinton for his immoral behavior both before and during his presidency. They’ve exposed themselves as political hacks and hypocrites who care more about gaining power and influence in the political arena than in following their conscience and discerning how best to apply their values and principles to choosing a candidate they can support.
Character does matter, at least if the GOP wants to claim to be the party of values and life. That’s why Evan is a perfect fit to lead the GOP into the future, or a new conservative party if the GOP goes the way of the Whigs.
In my research, I couldn’t find a single example of Evan being involved in any kind of corruption or scandal. Furthermore, there is no record that I could find of him engaging in lewd or offensive speech or behavior, which isn’t surprising given his Mormon background and how he was raised. I’m not saying Mormons are perfect by any means, but how many of them have you met who talked or behaved the way Trump has? That question answers itself.
In other words, Evan has a spotless background. Imagine if we had a GOP nominee with this kind of background. Forget the subjects of morality and character for a second and just focus on the politics of it. Instead of voters in swing states being flooded with ads of Trump talking about former Miss Universe winners being fat, or about how he assaults women, they would’ve seen nothing from Hillary on this subject if Evan was the nominee because she’d have no material to work with.
He would’ve been competitive with Hillary with women, and given the GOP’s built-in advantage with men, this means he likely would’ve been beating her in the polls right now. More importantly, Evan’s life gives us insight into what kind of president he would be. He would represent us well on the world stage, and we wouldn’t have to worry about the scandals or corruption in his administration, as we had with Bill Clinton and for the last seven years with President Obama.
I believe a man with true inner strength, integrity, and character such as Evan could repair many of our damaged relations with countries around the world, and could restore our image, as Reagan did. George W. Bush hurt that image by his recklessness and military mistakes, and it now lies in tatters thanks to Obama’s fecklessness and “hands-off” approach to foreign policy, which has alienated our allies and provoked our enemies. But beyond that, we should want a nominee, and ultimately a president, to be a moral example for the entire nation, especially for our kids.
By exhibiting such virtues as honesty, courage, perseverance, fortitude, humility, temperance, patience, kindness, discipline, charity, and willingness to sacrifice, a president can inspire an entire generation of young people to develop these virtues as well, and even to join the conservative and pro-life movements, as Reagan did. Isn’t it significant that there are so many “Reagan conservatives”, but there are no “George W. Bush conservatives”? I believe this dichotomy exists because Reagan inspired the youth of his time to be better people and to love their country through the example he set as president, while Bush, still being a man of great character in my opinion, turned people off from conservatism.
I believe young people want the truth and want to be inspired, and a president has a huge platform to do that. We could have created a new generation of conservatives if we had a president who inspired young people like Reagan. Evan could still be that president if we all do our part and vote for him, and with a lot of luck, of course. With him, we could have “McMullin conservatives”. In fact we’re already seeing them with the large numbers of young people at his rallies in the Mountain West states.
With Trump, we’d have the exact opposite reaction. As president, he’d turn young people away from conservatism in droves due to his juvenile, arrogant, dishonest, and crude words and actions. In fact he’s already having that effect, as I’ll explain in the next section of this diary. We don’t need a Pastor-in-Chief, but if we want to send the message to our kids that decency and morality matter, who better to point to as an example than a president?
Furthermore, we should hold our politicians to higher moral standards than we hold ourselves, or at least to the same standards. But these days we’re not even doing that. Most women wouldn’t tolerate the behavior Trump has exhibited his entire life if their sons, husbands, or brothers did it, but his hardcore female supporters are ok with him doing it.
Likewise, I would bet that most men who are supporting Trump wouldn’t even think about allowing a man like him anywhere near their wives or daughters, let alone be alone with them in a room, yet they defend his behavior and seem to be ok with it as long as it’s with other women. This is unacceptable for anyone, but especially conservatives, who should at least be trying to live up to the values we claim to care about.
After all, politicians are supposed to represent us, right? Do we want them to represent the best of us, as Evan does, or the worst of us, as Trump and Hillary do? How a president conducts himself or herself matters, not just to us, but to the world. With Evan as president, we wouldn’t have to worry about getting embarrassed on the world stage, or explain to our kids why our president did such a bad thing. The same could not be said of Trump or Hillary. That’s why it’s important to vote for Evan, because a vote for him is a vote for restoring character, honor, honesty, and decency, back to the Oval Office.
This diary is continued in part 2, where I look at the differences between Evan, Trump, and Hillary on being pro-life, how they’ve run their campaigns, and their personal lives and backgrounds.