Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin's Troop-less War Against Donald Trump's GOP

Independent candidate says Republican Party 'can no longer be considered the home for conservatives,' despite all voting evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, did his ballot exclusion tip Florida away from Hillary Clinton?

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Hillary Clinton, for understandable reasons, is keeping a low profile. Gary Johnson may well have disappeared off the map. (Two weeks before the election, the mentally wearied Libertarian told me "I may not even listen to the news again for the rest of my life. So I'll be in ignorant bliss.")

But the only other non-Bernie Sanders presidential candidate to finish as high as third place in any state, the independent conservative Evan McMullin, has spent the last two weeks tweeting out a storm of invective aimed at Donald Trump and his alt-rightiest supporters. A selection:

That last tweet in particular echoed the single biggest theme in the McMullin/Mindy Finn stump speech: that Donald Trump was violating the Declaration of Independence's notion that all men ("and women," they would always add) are created equal. The Gary Johnson/Bill Weld ticket may have gotten earfuls of grief (some of it deserved) for going comparatively apoplectic at the prospect of a Trump presidency—an emphasis that, perhaps ironically, drove many third-party leaners I know into the arms of McMullin. But in his campaign and post-election behavior, the former CIA operative and Goldman Sachs investment banker has sounded at various times as outraged by Trump's rhetoric and associations as the median Comedy Central employee.

"The Republican Party can no longer be considered the home for conservatives," McMullin said in his concession speech on election night. "Conservatism is about protecting the fundamental rights: That we are all equal, regardless of the color of our skin, the faith that we practice or our gender. But tonight there are millions of Americans, I'm sad to say, who are now in fear that perhaps their liberties will be challenged and threatened under a Trump administration that has made a campaign of targeting people based on their race, religion and gender."

But in his bid to be the vanguard of a "new conservative movement," McMullin has a difficult question to answer. Him and what army?

Not only did Donald Trump rout the Republican primary field and then shock the consensus favorite in the general election, the GOP maintained its control of Congress and its dominance at the state level. Conservative officeholders will likely be too busy enjoying the exercise of power to heed McMullin's call for a new splinter movement.

Meanwhile, the #NeverTrumper finished a distant fourth place in the national vote, with 0.42 percent so far. (Many write-ins have yet to be tabulated, so that figure will go up, but the total number of write-ins stands at 0.63 percent, meaning he will certainly fall far behind Jill Stein's current 1.03 percent.) It is true, McMullin had by far the best finish among third-party candidates in any single state, with his 21.6 percent in Utah (more than doubling Johnson's 9.3 percent in New Mexico), but aside from his 6.7%-4.1% victory over the Libertarian in Idaho (which is the second-biggest Mormon state of the union), the independent never cracked 2 percent in any of the other nine states he made it onto the ballot. There is no evidence that he exists as a significant political phenomenon outside the Mormon belt.

Here are the current numbers for McMullin's nine laggard states, ranked in order of his performance, and displayed along with results from the other minor candidates:

1.80% Minnesota (Gary Johnson 3.84%, Jill Stein 1.26%, Dan Vacek 0.38%, Darrell Castle 0.32%)

1.35% Virginia (GJ 2.97%, JS 0.69%)

1.18% Kentucky (GJ 2.79%, JS 0.72%)

1.17% Arkansas (GJ 2.64%, JS 0.84%, James Hedges 0.42%, DC 0.41%, Lynn Kahn 0.30%)

1.04% Colorado (GJ 5.18%, JS 1.18%, DC 0.42%)

1.00% South Carolina (GJ 2.34%, JS 0.62%, DC 0.27%, Peter Skewes 0.15%)

0.79% Iowa (GJ 3.78%, JS 0.73%, DC 0.34%)

0.73% New Mexico (GJ 9.34%, JS 1.24%)

0.42% Louisiana (GJ 1.87%, JS 0.69%)

So after the many thousands of news stories this year about the #NeverTrump movement, here are your final results: Two bronze medals, six fourth-place finishes, and three times lagging behind Jill Stein. And the only state in which McMullin even has an argument about influencing the outcome is, paradoxically, the one where he wasn't even on the ballot: Florida.

There, in that swingiest of swing states, the administration of Gov. Rick Scott, who runs a Trump-supporting SuperPAC, reversed precedent and outraged ballot-access activists by gratuitously chucking McMullin off the ballot. Donald Trump ended up winning the Sunshine State and its delicious 29 electoral votes by 1.19 percentage points as of current tabulations. While it's true that McMullin only cleared that number in two of his nine non-Mormon states, had he somehow duplicated his Minnesota total of 1.8 percent, that may have been enough to turn Florida blue, given how pre-election polls in Virginia showed him pulling almost exclusively from Republicans and conservatives.

If Florida had repeated its 2000 role as the pivotal state in a tight presidential election, just imagine the national conversation we'd be having now. "The Scott administration put up a shield wall to protect Donald Trump at every turn," McMullin advisor and Florida native Rick Wilson told me three days before the election. "This thing stank on ice."

As it stands, McMullin's Florida exclusion is a footnote of a footnote. Only time will tell whether his campaign to build a new, more equality-based conservative movement will suffer the same fate.

Read my election eve interview with Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn here.

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86 responses to “Evan McMullin's Troop-less War Against Donald Trump's GOP

  1. Hey, McMullin is more libertarian than libertarians. He told us so.

    Except when it comes to bombing third world nations….

    1. And continuing to fight the Drug War…

      1. At least he has a memorable nickname.

        I’ll never forget you McMuffin.

        1. You said it, Michael J. Caboose.

      2. Read the tea leaves. This is the LIBERTARIAN MOMENT.

        WE got the RINO we need,

        Drug reform apace
        Abortion compromise – Olive branch from a year or two ago was REASONABLE IMO
        RINO first president to embrace Rainbow Flag

        We won. It’s over.

        Celebrate.

  2. Him and what army?

    The army of Joseph Smith and Father Adam.

    1. +1 Nauvoo Legion

      1. *snorts derisively*

        /IL Militia

  3. So uh, what has Trump done that’s so “white nationalist”? He got a high proportion of white people in flyover country to vote for him? By that logic, Hilary Clinton is a much more pronounced black nationalist.

    1. So uh, what has Trump done that’s so “white nationalist”?

      Something something alt-right something Pepe the Frog something white women something something build a wall.

    2. It is pretty ridiculous. No one can point to any statement by Trump or that Breitbart guy that demonstrates their supposed white nationalism or antisemitism.

      I can see why Trump would appeal to white nationalists looking for a major party candidate to vote for as he at least shares some of their views about the desirability of certain immigrant populations and is something of a populist nationalist.

      But I’m not seeing any reasons to believe that Trump was elected primarily because of white nationalism or that he ran as a white nationalist.

      Even more bizarre is the certainty that he somehow means terrible things for gay, trans, etc. people. It seems like he’s personally fine with gays and has little to no interest in the issue as a politician.

      There are tons of great reasons to criticize Trump. It always amazes me how people ignore the real stuff and focus on stupid bullshit or completely made up stuff. (See also Obama’s birth certificate and 57 states).

      1. Worse yet IMO, one could just as well say for the same or similar reasons that Trump is allegedly a white nationalist that Obama is a black nationalist. Yet that never really gets pointed out or addressed, except insofar as to be dismissed. Apparently racist ideologies are ok as long as they promote certain races.

        1. Apparently racist ideologies are ok as long as they promote certain races.

          Well, yeah. As long as the focus is on righting historical wrongs rather than making things work better for everyone, that’s what it’s going to be.

          And no one should be surprised if white nationalism does get some extra energy when so much attention is given to other race based ideologies and policies. To teh extent that Trump is supported by white nationalists, it’s because of all the recent focus on race in everything far more than because of anything about Trump himself beyond his refusal to play PC.

          1. As long as the focus is on righting historical wrongs rather than making things work better for everyone, that’s what it’s going to be.

            Indeed. The key difference between successful individuals/communities and unsuccessful ones has been an aspirational, rather than resentful, mentality. The greatest strides in economic development and social/legal equality for black people have come not while obsessing over how poorly they were treated in the past or present but instead while focusing on how they could better themselves, their families, and their communities.

            The same is true of any group of people. And it will be just as true for the so-called “forgotten” parts of the country that turned out to vote for Trump.

            1. Sure, but getting the EPA off their economies’ throats won’t hurt either. Beyond that, the media seems to think that only white people ever worked in a factory or got fucked over by some multinational or by the regulators. IT is a pretty strange view of things when you think about it.

              1. I definitely agree. The whole white-black narrative as sold by the media does not represent reality, and I wouldn’t tell somebody “well just buck up and aspire” when there’s a government boot in their face keeping them down.

      2. I can see why Trump would appeal to white nationalists looking for a major party candidate to vote for as he at least shares some of their views about the desirability of certain immigrant populations and is something of a populist nationalist.

        I don’t disagree with you. But this is true of every Republican. I think white nationalists will tend to favor whomever panders the least to ethnic minorities, which effectively rules out the Democrats. The process of elimination is pretty brief in a two party system.

        1. There are different groups of white nationalists, and no doubt some of them feel that Republicans have betrayed the country/race both/either for historical reasons (being the party of abolition and civil rights) or for more modern reasons (promoting immigration, trade, finance, and business w/o regard to national or ethnic concerns).

          1. Both vanishingly small. We hope.

        2. Sure. I do think Trump with his bluntness and impolitic way of speaking probably appealed to such people a bit more than the usual sort of Republican candidate. Maybe helped get out the vote a little bit, but probably not hugely significant.

          1. Contrary to what is said by leftist pantshitters, the actual numbers of “white nationalists” are tiny. Richard Spencer, the Great Al-Right Demagogue of Death has about 6,000 subscribers to his youtube channel. Compare that to CopperCab, the SJW Ginger Nationalist with well over 300k subscribers. I don’t think the white nationalists made any difference to the outcome of this election.

            1. Yes, I don’t mean to sound as if I think it is particularly significant at all.

              It’s fucking stupid. We are probably in one of the least racist societies anywhere ever and the way some people talk about it you’d think we were about to bring back Jim Crow laws.

              1. Yeah pretty much. As far as labeling “white people” as racists, I know of no other racial category of people on earth more prone to getting defensive about being called a racist. Anti-racism occupies so much of our discourse, my eyes uncontrollably roll to the point of blindness when I hear proggies like Obama say something like “We can’t stick our head in the sand about race.” or “We need to finally have a national conversation about race.” For fucks sake, it’s time to not have a conversation about race, maybe for just one fucking day per year.

            2. I don’t think the white nationalists made any difference to the outcome of this election.

              From what I saw, the single biggest group of voters pulling the lever for Trump, swamping any “white power” group, were those trying to keep Clinton out of the Oval Office.

            3. the actual numbers of “white nationalists” are tiny

              And they’re probably outnumbered by alphabet agency infiltrators.

      3. I agree that Trump himself poses little threat on these fronts, but it also seems pretty clear that he’s not really prepared for everything that his new job entails, so the concern is more that the actual formation of policy will be directed by the people he surrounds himself with. And when those people are assholes like Pence (conversion therapy is swell!), Sessions (yay DEA, boo sentencing reform!) and Carson (something something pyramids), it’s a concern that’s entirely appropriate.

        1. His appointments aren’t very encouraging. I don’t imagine I’m going to be defending much of what they actually do. They will suck in many ways. But I’d like to see some actual evidence of their racism and misogyny beyond being fairly standard right-wing conservative authoritarians.

          1. I just hope they’re ineffective. The less the cabinet does, the better.

        2. Is any president-elect ever prepared for everything the job entails?

    3. Regarding Evan … he’s another rube who is self identifying

      Our first RINO in office – Trump

  4. Two weeks before the election, the mentally wearied Libertarian told me “I may not even listen to the news again for the rest of my life. So I’ll be in ignorant bliss.”

    The jokes here are so obvious, they essentially write themselves.

    1. Couldn’t think of anything, huh?

      1. Umm… GayGay JohnStoned!

      2. When did he listen to the news before?

  5. McMuffin doesn’t even exist. He was a blatant psyop, a milquetoast loser put in place by TPTB to make that Hitlery would lose, and also to make sure that the sheeples keep believing things aren’t really controlled by the lizard people at the top, who lurk in the shadows, in plain sight.

    1. You’re saying he’s a computer-generated secular .marketing icon, like Max Headroom or J.R. “Bob” Romney?

      1. Btw pls add me to ur mailing list

      2. Bravo! The JR “Bob” Romney is perfect.

    2. I thought he ran to make sure Hillary won, by giving safe haven to the Never Trump conservatives…. Seems like he failed.

  6. Eh, if McMuffin had tipped Florida it wouldn’t have changed a thing since Trump ended up not even needing it. So I don’t know why you think the conversation would be any different than it is now.

    I’m personally glad Johnson has the dignity to quietly enter retirement. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for this pathetic stalking horse for the Bill Kristol wing of the Republican Party.

    1. Johnson was probably pining for (political) retirement. McMullin is young and thinks he’s just getting started.

      1. If he’s so libertarian, will he pursue the LP nomination next time? Ballot access will be automatic in a lot more states.

    2. This guy ran for president for the same reason he’s stalking Trump on twitter, he needs attention. That isn’t something people just get over. I’ll be surprised if Johnson stays retired too.

  7. As the Trump Administration takes shape, we must not allow the normalization of racial and religious bigotry in America.

    I agree – he should make shutting down HuffPo and EverydayFeminism a top priority in his first hundred days in office.

    1. YOU LEAVE EVERYDAYFEMINISM ALONE!

      1. There are other Derp mines, you know?

        1. The entirety of Facebook for example, is an especially rich vein.

  8. “Hillary Clinton, for understandable reasons, is keeping a low profile.”

    She’s staying drunk and binge-watching old seasons of The West Wing. Swearing like a sailor, no doubt.

    I bet her dog hasn’t come out from under the couch since the election. She probably hasn’t taken a shower in days.

    1. Not Madame Secretary instead of West Wing? She IS upset.

      1. Not even she can watch that thing.

    2. God, I hope she’s recording her memoirs.

      Howard Stern used to play tapes that a rambling, drunken Judy Garland made in later years and it the funniest goddamn shit ever.

    3. Her early stage Parkinson’s Disease isn’t exactly much of an incentive to be out and about either.

  9. HE MCMUFFIN’D THAT BIZNATCH

  10. If McMillin is so anti-racism, why did he, as a third party candidate, cause Hillary Clinton to lose?

  11. “”The Republican Party can no longer be considered the home for conservatives,” McMullin said in his concession speech on election night.”

    Is it still a concession speech if it falls in the forest and no one hears it?

  12. So, McMuffin is going with the progtard’s identity politic lines? Nice.

  13. Predictably diversionary series of tweets from a known skinhead.

  14. Saying “stop it” to racist attacks means little when you name white supremacist darling Steve Bannon chief strategist in the very same day.

    Is there any actual evidence that Steve Bannon is a racist, let alone a white supremacist? This is something I’ve heard repeated regularly since the election. Yet, every time I look for the actual evidence, I find it’s a dead end. I’m not saying he’s not. I’d just like to have some basis for that conclusion other than other people’s assertions.

    1. There is no evidence. Calling Steve Bannon a white Supremacist is like calling Nick Gillespie a communist because Shreek and Tony post on the reason boards.

    2. I hear antisemitic thrown around a lot too.

      I really know nothing about the man, but I haven’t seen anything put forward to support the claims.

      I was listening to the BBC (no less) the other night and they were interviewing some representative or something who declared that Banon was an antisemite and racist. The interviewer pressed him for some evidence to supoprt it several times, but he just kept repeating the claim as if it were obvious truth.

      People are fucking nuts.

      1. If a BBC reporter has trouble swallowing that story, it’s probably not true.

      2. The evidence for the claim he is anti-Semetic is an article published or reprinted in Breitbart that called Bill Krystol a “renegade Jew”. That sounds pretty damning until you realize the article was written by David Horowitz, who is a Jew himself.

        1. Yeah, and Horowitz was saying Kristol was betraying Jews and Israel by not supporting Trump.

          I looked up that article when I saw the “renegade Jew” quote – I thought, “the media *got* to be BSing me!” and it was.

      3. I can’t help but think the reason we’ve heard so much about Richard Spencer the last few days is that the Team Blue media is having a hard time backing up the “Bannon and Trump are White Supremacists” claims. The stories follow the pattern “Nazis meet to make Nazi salutes and plan genocide. This meeting of the alt-right is concerning. Trump just appointed the leader of the alt-right as his chief strategist. Trump is a Nazi!”

  15. I’ve been spreading this blog around, because I think it’s really important, and well-argued. Anybody who thinks Trump is a racist/sexist/homophobe needs to read it. And this guy is no Trumpist:

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2016…..ying-wolf/

    1. That’s been posted here several times, but definitely worth spreading around as much as possible.

      1. Clearly I don’t come here often enough… 🙂

  16. How about we take one of those islands in the Pacific and send McMullin and the 200 guys who showed up at that Alt Right convention and put them there. They can create there own little “Constitutional Conservative” Utopia and the rest of us can forget they existed.

    1. I don’t know about you, but i will think of him every time i eat a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich. And then again twenty minutes later when my body is done with it.

  17. “Hillary Clinton, for understandable reasons, is keeping a low profile.”

    Except when she’s on TV telling her supporters to stop assaulting people, vandalizing property, blocking public roadways and uttering death threats?

    I mean, I presume she’s doing all that stuff, right?

    1. No. It’s Trump that is responsible for all of those things.

      /Conventional Wisdom

      1. Well, yeah. All he had to do was drop out of the election and let Hillary win and none of this would have happened.

      2. It’s a good thing Trump won, or there would still be supporters contesting the election and calling for recounts.

  18. Non-factor is non-factor.

    Gary Johnson’s strategy must have worked — he got 3 times as many votes as he did last time.

    1. I suspect you’re being facetious, but the LP could have gotten 3X as many votes by simply sending direct mail and handing out bumper stickers.

      Their “strategy” this year (‘go centrist-left/pragmatic’), in my opinion, resulted in losing votes they *should* have had…. rather than deserving credit for all their improvement over 2012.

      They could have gotten 5% *easy* with better candidates and a less-wishy-washy message. its just my opinion, but i could argue this all day. I think this year was (mostly) a gigantic waste.

      I know Sarwark has some good points about the gains they’ve made downticket and the vast number of new ballots they’ll be on now, and how this was all due to the less-doctrinaire approach of GJ/Weld, and how the latter deserves more credit than he’s been given for fundraising and ‘making the tent bigger’.. etc.

      but i don’t really buy it. mostly. I guess the main problem with my argument is, “what alternative was actually possible”? Peterson & Mcafee wouldn’t have necessarily been the bigger winners i imagine. So basically my argument is all based on the theory that “Someone” could have been better. Just that none of the people who actually showed up were that someone. Its all hypothetical.

      1. I’m just going with “it’s good that they did better than usual”.

        I think you are probably right that some hypothetical candidate could have done better than Johnson. But it is unclear who that would have been. And the LP doesn’t exactly have a great history of finding great candidates with broad appeal outside of the hard-core.

        1. All I can say is that if they’d nominated Ron Paul or some other prolife, liberty-oriented candidate, they’d have gotten my vote, but Johnson and Weld didn’t do it for me.

          Of course, I’m not what you’d call a representative voter, but there may have been others like me.

          1. The LP really needs to focus more on state level recruitment. Spending so much time on national stuff is why we end up with Republican retreads and unknowns.

          2. That one’s kind of tricky for the LP. I think their platform is pro-legal-abortion. And it’s hard to say, but I think most self identified libertarians are pro-choice on abortion. But they probably could do well with a pro-life candidate too. Ron Paul being an excellent example.

            Either way, they are going to annoy a big chunk of their potential voters if they pick a candidate who makes abortion a central issue. Ron Paul, again, did well with that with his 2012 campaign, targeting his message to the audience he was in front of.

  19. Evan McMullin is kinda lame.

  20. I was one of the MN McMullin voters. After reading what he has to say now, I am disappointed in him. He sounds like another liberal shill. Thank God he did not get Hillary elected! MINNEMUSKIE

  21. Not only did Donald Trump rout the Republican primary field

    Yea, with the aid of the dirtbags in the media that were in Cruelle DeVille’s pocket. Had they not considered Orange Sauron the easiest candidate to beat, this shit would have gone down very differently.

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