I’ve been against Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency from day one. In fact, I haven’t like the Donald for years. Before the billionaire businessman formally launched his campaign June 16, 2015, I was a vocal opponent. Of the 17 candidates who ran for the Republican nomination, I would’ve proudly supported at least 8-10 of them. But Trump’s vile rhetoric, personal attacks, and lack of actual policy plans made it clear I could never support him– not to mention I disagree with him on a host of issues.
When Sen. Ted Cruz kicked off the 2016 election cycle by announcing his candidacy last March, I was excited at the prospect that the GOP would nominate a real conservative who would be a formidable threat to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. For years, I wrote about Sec. Clinton’s scandals, personal misconduct, and lack of transparency. No one could question my distrust of Clinton and all she supposedly represented as a woman in politics.
But along came Donald. As a supporter of Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, my distrust of Trump only grew as he climbed to the top of polls as the result of name calling and pot stirring. While Rubio shared a vision for a “new American century,” Cruz campaigned on social conservatism, and Jeb raked in millions from wealthy donors,Trump was busy attacking his opponents personal appearance.
“We’re gonna make America great again,” he’d say to crowds of thousands who came to his rallies to simply get a glimpse of the real-estate magnet.
How he’d do it? No one knew. But his words resonated with Americans who had come to distrust the Washington elite. Primary after primary, Trump dominated and his fellow candidates fell by the wayside. A mere 13 months after entering the ring, the Donald had officially KO’d each one of his 16 opponents. No pollster, analyst, or commentator would’ve predicted his unprecedented success.
No one was more disappointed in this than myself. I spent four years waiting for the Republican party to nominate a viable candidate. After eight years of President Obama, there was no way a Democrat would get elected. (Note to self: never underestimate the stupidity of the average American voter and the GOP.)
As Republicans stepped forward to endorse the now Republican nominee, I couldn’t help but think they looked like sheep lining up at a cliff. Why compromise your values and credentials as a conservative simply to support a party nominee? These were the same people who claimed to champion family values and limited government, which, if Trump’s candidacy has proven anything, it’s that he does not align with this sect of Right wing.
Time and time again Trump has demeaned women, proved his knowledge of foreign affairs is all but nonexistent, and received international censure for the way in which he’s run for the highest elected office in America. Because of these reasons and many others, I have vowed not to vote for Donald Trump in November. I am not a single issue voter, and I disagree with Trump on too many to cast my vote in his name.
For a while, I didn’t know what I’d do. Not vote? Write in? I definitely wasn’t voting for Trump or Hillary. Several weeks went by and rumors spread of a potential third-party candidate– other than Johnson or Stein– that the #NeverTrump crowd could proudly support. Ben Sasse? David French? Mitt Romney?
On Aug. 8, Evan McMullin formally threw his hat in the ring. As a former CIA operative, he has the foreign policy experience a commander-in-chief needs with major threats like ISIS– commonly known in the Obama administration as the “JV squad”– not backing down. He has a plan to simplify the tax code and create jobs. He knows that Obamacare has failed and a conservative alternative is greatly needed. He respects the dignity of human life. He sees that the racial divide in America is growing and understands that only by working together can we heal this wound.
The more I searched, the more I liked the results. McMullin is a conservative’s candidate. Do I agree with him 100 percent on every issue? No. But I do agree with him more than any other candidate in this race? Yes.
So I’m going against the grain and voting for the Independent. Do I expect Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn to win the presidency? Probably not. But I know that, by some miracle, if they were to be the next inhabitants of the White House, I could proudly say, “I voted for them.”
Some people on the Left and the Right will accuse me of throwing away my vote. And to them, I simply laugh. This is America. Men and women have fought and died to protect our country, where I, a woman, not only have the right to vote, but also have the right to cast my ballot for whomever I desire. I’m not sitting this election out– though I wouldn’t blame anyone for doing so. Just because I’m not casting my ballot for the person you like doesn’t mean my vote automatically goes to the other guy (or girl). My vote goes to Evan McMullin and no one else.