The following is the opinion of a Political Storm contributor and does not necessarily reflect the editorial position of PoliticalStorm.com.
On November 8, millions of Republicans will choose between their party or ideology and what is best for the country. Every Republican of conscience should vote for Hillary Clinton if residing in a swing state and for independent candidate Evan McMullin in a solid blue or red state.
Why the split endorsement? If you are a Republican, you likely disagree with most or all of Clinton’s policy positions, and you have legitimate concerns about her character and competence. Any of the top 16 competitors in the Republican primary, other than Trump, would have been a better general election choice than Clinton (and would likely be tying or leading her in the national polls right now). Unfortunately, the Republican Party nominated Trump, and (as explained below) he must be defeated. The only person who can defeat Trump is Clinton. Therefore, it is your civic duty to vote for Clinton, if there’s a chance Trump could win the state in which you live.
If you live in a sold blue or red state (one where Clinton or Trump leads the other by at least 10 points), consider yourself fortunate. You can vote your conscience knowing that your vote (and the votes of everyone you know and could possibly influence) will make no difference in the election outcome. However, your vote for Trump really is an endorsement of Trump because the “lesser of two evils” rationale isn’t available to you. Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson is on the ballot in every state, and McMullin is either on the ballot or an officially-sanctioned write-in candidate in the vast majority of states.
Trump Is Unfit to Be President
Four months ago, #NeverTrump Republicans warned the party about Trump and urged that an alternative candidate be nominated, notwithstanding the fact that Trump had won a majority of delegates to the Republican National Convention. As two of us delegates explained in a Washington Post op-ed published on the eve of the convention:
The reasons to oppose Trump’s nomination are legion: Under the pretense of opposing political correctness, he has served up a buffet of bigotry toward religious, racial and ethnic minorities. He displays a shocking contempt for the truth. He appears to have no fixed beliefs other than belief in his own infallibility. He is dangerously ignorant about foreign affairs, policy issues and the Constitution. . . . The case against a Trump nomination justifies the exercise of a conscience vote at the convention. We do not take this position lightly. Under any normal scenario, delegates should select the candidate who prevailed in the primary season — but this is not a normal scenario.
Throughout the past year, it has been obvious that Trump has serious character flaws and is unfit to be president. However, most Republicans contended that the “will” of the primary voters should prevail (despite the fact that Trump won only a plurality of all votes cast and that the preference polls were not binding). Nominating Trump was a catastrophic mistake.
Following the Republican convention in Cleveland, Trump has demonstrated that he is even more unfit for office than initially believed. He has trafficked in numerous conspiracy theories. He has displayed a shockingly-reckless disregard for the truth. His thin-skinned nature has led him to pick bizarre fights with everyone from Republican Party leaders to the family of a fallen soldier to a former Miss Universe. A 2005 audio recording of him joking about sexually assaulting women corroborates the testimony of at least ten women who have accused him of sexual assault. He declines to denounce espionage by the Russian government or even admit it has occurred, despite the overwhelming consensus of the intelligence community. He has repeatedly undermined the legitimacy of the American electoral system by recklessly warning, without credible evidence, that widespread election fraud may deny him an election victory.
Hillary Clinton Will Not Destroy America
Trump is a threat to America. A Trump presidency would likely send the country on a path to inevitable economic and moral decline. Only Clinton can stop Trump. To those who list a litany of reasons why Clinton would be bad for America, heed this: by nominating Trump, the Republican Party forfeited the election. If Republicans wanted to elect someone other than Clinton, they should not have nominated Trump.
Hyperventilating Trump supporters and Clinton haters on Twitter frequently make unhinged claims such as that Clinton “will destroy America within her first 100 days,” that “Hillary is a lawless tyrant who will destroy the rule of law,” or the mantra that Clinton is “corrupt” (she might be). People making such claims lack faith in the safety mechanisms embedded in the Constitution’s design or in their leaders’ ability to oppose truly tyrannical behavior. Have a little faith; America will survive a Clinton presidency. Clinton may even help unite a badly-fractured Republican Party when hardcore conservatives finally comprehend that John Kasich is not a liberal when compared with the real liberal sitting in the White House.
McMullin Is A Sane, Competent Conservative
For Republicans fortunate to live in a heavily blue or red state, the choice is primarily between Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and independent candidate Evan McMullin. Johnson will be on all 50 state ballots and a vote for Johnson has the added advantage of advancing the fortunes of an established political party that could, conceivably, some day challenge the entrenched two-party duopoly. Unfortunately, the Libertarians have a short bench: Johnson has been remarkably unimpressive this year, from his infamous “What is Aleppo?” episode to awkward moments such as when he admitted that “it was kind of a misfire” when he called Trump a “p***y,” and then he did it again in the same interview. The Libertarian Party has squandered the best opportunity it has ever had to gain mainstream acceptance.
McMullin is exactly the sort of Republican that should have been the party’s nominee this year. He checks all of the conservative boxes—pro-life, fiscal conservative, pro-immigration enforcement, pro-Second Amendment—without any of Trump’s rough edges or uninclusive vibe. A vote for McMullin is a vote against Trump and the Deplorables.
Ted Cruz got it right the first time: Vote your conscience. I’m voting for Evan McMullin.
Currently the principal of Everest Law Firm in Alexandria, Virginia, Kris Hammond has served as an attorney for a district court judge, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the U.S. Department of Justice in its Civil Rights Division. He has run for office twice and was an elected delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.