As someone who has been politically active since before I could vote, I have come to view serious consideration of voting third party as, at best, a wasted vote. I have always derided those who would throw away the good in a knowingly fruitless search for the perfect. I have known that the two-party system was imperfect, but found comfort in supporting candidates who I believed would do the most good.
I have dutifully taken electibility into account when casting my vote and have chosen to make a difference instead of a statement. “Fat lot of good it will do you to stand on principle,” I have derided others. “Stand aside and let the rest of us get some work done!”
And then 2016 happened. And then Evan McMullin happened.
2016 has been a year of lament for me as the candidates who have risen to the top of the pack are both wholly unacceptable. There is one who has at least attempted to pay lip service to the issues I care about, but I wouldn’t trust him to house sit for me, much less to lead my country. Call me old-fashioned, but if you want my vote you must at least pretend to have integrity. Perhaps that has been my greatest anger in all of this; neither candidate even bothers to hide how corrupt they are. Who cares? No one, apparently.
I’m so tempted to again write my woes(which I’ve done here and here), and this year has been full of them, but the truth is that I’m too excited by the promise of tomorrow to focus on the negatives. I could list the numerous reasons that Donald Trump is an abomination to the Republican party. I could spend pages on the trails of corruption behind Hillary Clinton. But to what end? I am so tired of playing “which candidate is less evil?” Worst. Game Show. Ever.
For months I was troubled over how I would vote. What was the right thing to do? I wanted to do the right thing, I just couldn’t suss out what exactly that meant. Do I vote for Trump anyway since he might possibly be less terrible than Clinton on some things? I weighed every option.
And then Evan McMullin did the right thing. Like me, Evan was expecting someone to stand up. He was expecting that the insanity of this election would be tempered at some point by someone, by anyone. Turns out that someone would be him.
Evan exemplifies public service, having worked both at home and abroad serving our country and serving people. His policies are straightforward, compassionate, and imbued with the kind of common sense our nation has been so hungry for from our leaders. We don’t need talking points, we don’t need parents, we need a government for the people by the people that puts the people first. Ahead of ambition, ahead of power, ahead of greed. And we need leaders who push us to do the right thing, even when it isn’t easy. The leaders who speak out against fear, who guide us to the truth even when it doesn’t make the flashiest headlines, who preach mercy and justice and compassion, who doesn’t refer to anyone as ‘other’ or create nameless faceless enemies for us to fear. Who doesn’t incite fear and outrage and anger in order to play our emotions like the sheeple they secretly believe us all to be.
Evan is a breath of fresh air. At first I as thrilled to have someone to vote for who wasn’t Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but as time has gone on and I’ve learned more about McMullin, I am genuinely thrilled to vote for him specifically. I’ve never been so excited to cast a vote for a presidential candidate.
His path to the White House is narrow, but the movement he is starting is so much bigger than just this election. No matter what happens on Election night, the hope that he has inspired will continue and will grow.
But just because his path is narrow doesn’t mean a vote for Evan is wasted. A vote for Evan McMullin is a vote for honesty, decency, integrity, and true servant leadership our country would thrive under. As of this week, he is positioned to be a real contender in Utah– a telling statement for how hungry the American people are for a “none of the above” option.
I will no longer be afraid. I will seek leaders who prey not on my fear, but instead seek to inspire hope. Those who challenge me to be better, and to do better.
Evan McMullin is a conservative, but I’ve heard from many democrats who are choosing to support him, so don’t let labels influence you- do your own research. Vote for the candidate you support. Evan has earned my vote, and given the chance, I bet he could earn yours.