Evan McMullin: ‘Have you no sense of decency, sir?’

I would ask readers to watch this short clip of an exchange between Sen. Joseph McCarthy and Joseph Welch.  The occasion was McCarthy’s investigation of the US Army for supposed Communist ties. Mr. Welch was a lawyer for the Army.  He watched McCarthy destroy the reputations and livelihoods of dozens of people for no reason other than his own political grandstanding.  Many readers may have heard of “McCarthyism.”  In a nutshell it is this:  questioning the patriotism and loyalty of people to further your own political designs.

Evan McMullin, a Mormon presidential candidate, who garnered a large number of votes in the 2016 election, has proven himself a purveyor of McCarthyism.

First, watch this clip:


Here is what McMullin tweeted over the weekend:

“It must be clear that Donald Trump is not a loyal American and we should prepare for the next four years accordingly.”

I ask Evan McMullin:  have you no sense of decency, sir?  Do you really have the hubris to accuse the presidential elect of not being a loyal American?  Can you see how this is nothing more than McCarthyism, a cynical attempt to further your own political career by accusing somebody else of being disloyal?

Let me make this clear:  I have no problem with McMullin raising questions about Russia’s supposed involvement in the elections.  Personally, I think such claims are garbage, but McMullin has a right to raise concerns.  I also have no problem with him slamming Trump’s possible choice of Rex Tillerson as Sect of State.  I think Tillerson would be a great Sect of State, but McMullin is well within his rights to question that choice.

Where McMullin shows no decency is in his claim that Trump is “not a loyal American.”  Such a claim is simply ridiculous, and McMullin needs to be called out for his McCarthyism.

Remember, I was #neverMcMullin from the beginning.  The man is a warmonger and has no decency, at least when it comes to this issue.


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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

25 thoughts on “Evan McMullin: ‘Have you no sense of decency, sir?’

  1. McMullin’s tweet was disappointing to say the least and you’re certainly entitled to your #neverMcMullin stance but you seem to be in danger of becoming the very thing you revile. Calling McMullin a warmonger is out of line – where is your sense of decency? Disappointing.

  2. Devin, I wrote about the specifics of why I call McMullin a warmonger in these posts:



    Now McMullin is joining McCain and Graham and the Democrats in trying to gin up a war with Russia over supposed hacking of the elections. There is absolutely no proof — or even evidence — given that the hacking took place. It is all anonymous sources making claims. And McMullin, instead of sanely questioning the use of anonymous sources, spends his time trying to encourage a bellicose policy toward Russia. Latter-day Saints should be peacemakers. McMullin is a warmonger. I stand by that comment.

    By the way, one dictionary definition of “warmonger” is: “a sovereign or political leader or activist who encourages or advocates aggression or warfare toward other nations or groups.” McMullin has encouraged war against Assad in Syria and is now trying to support aggressive actions against Russia. He clearly is a warmonger by any definition.

  3. Please re-check your history, because it now shows that in many cases, Sen. McCarthy was actually right.

  4. Glen, there were actual Communists in the United States government in the late 1940s and early 1950s. And there were also many others who were not Communists whose reputations were destroyed because of false claims by McCarthy. At the end of the day, it is the general sense of “if you don’t agree with me, you are a traitor” that I am concerned about. This is what both McCarthy and McMullin are guilty of.

  5. I voted for McMullin mostly as a protest vote against Trump and Hillary. Though I don’t regret my vote, I’m extremely disappointed in McMullin’s post-election behavior. Instead of being a principled, conservative alternative to Trump, he’s devolved into a conspiracy nut who simply sees anything Trump does as proof he’s a fascists who’s out to end democracy in the United States. His stuff is the kind of trash you find on alt-left blogs and websites.

    Ironically, his unhinged behavior makes Trump’s tweets and statements look sane by comparison. If his object is to make Trump look like someone unqualified for the presidency, he’s not doing his job right.

  6. McMullin is a neoconservative, so it doesn’t surprise me that he’s in favor of launching a war with Russia and questioning the loyalty and patriotism of those who think that would be a spectacularly dumb idea.

    Now that he’s lost the presidential election—coming in behind even Hillary Clinton in the reddest-of-the-red state of Utah—whom, exactly does he represent now? He’s not heading up a think tank or superPAC. He’s not even (to the best of my knowledge) writing for a neocon magazine or blog. Is he committed to being a gadfly now?

  7. Is it “fake news”? Are we sure? Wasn’t it Trump who months ago made a public wisecrack about how maybe the Russians could find all those emails that Hillary had lost?

    Breitbart–which in another month will effectively be America’s state-run news agency–is going off just as half-cocked in one direction, as McMullin has gone in the other. And as long as we’re going to be talking about McCarthy-ism; it’s probably worth noting that a) McMullin isn’t the first presidential candidate this year to say mean things about another country due to poorly-sourced, factually-dodgy accusations; and b) our current President-elect is in a far better position to hurt his political enemies–and to all appearances, is much more dispositionally prone to doing so–than McMullin is.

    As for this talk of “warmongering”–I think there’s a genuine disconnect between folks who think America can keep itself out of regional/global conflagrations by pretending they don’t exist; versus those who believe that judicious use of force can prevent another world war and, over the long haul, save lives. Both approaches have been deployed under varying historical circumstances; and both have been misapplied in such ways as to exacerbate bloodshed. It’s not like McMullin kills for kicks and giggles–quite the opposite, in fact–and IMHO we should probably save the term “warmonger” for folks who actually deserve it.

  8. IMHO, there is far, far more going on behind the scenes with all of this than we are aware, including possible factions jockeying for influence within the CIA.

    I would personally advise everyone to be extra critical of anything being touted by the usual talking head suspects, including anything being peddled by the Washington Post or the New York Times or Politico.

    It’s embarrassing to see so many people taking their “news” at face value.

  9. I think anyone left of me is a pinko commie, and everyone to the right of me is a fascist. So none of you are patriots.

    Seriously, I think many confuse nationalism with patriotism. Patriotism is not a love of country, but a love of the principles a nation is built upon. Nationalists are all about the Fatherland, regardless of what principles or policies are enacted.

    Most of our Founding Fathers were patriots. Most Russians today and Germans in 1939 are nationalists. I would say that most Americans are not patriots today, but are nationalists or internationalists. Trump excites the nationalists with America First slogans, while Hillary lovers tend towards internationalism.

    McMullin is a neocon. They tend towards internationalism in having America play the world’s police force. This means endless wars and police actions. I

    I suppose a person can be a patriot and nationalist or internationalist, but I find that principles often conflict between patriotism and the others. Even Trump said the Constitution is terrific BUT it cannot always be followed. Some of his plans include things that conflict with the constitution, but fit in well with nationalism.

    So, I suppose it depends on how one defines patriotism to determine who is a patriot.

  10. It’s emabarassing to see so many people calling every story that contradicts their ideologies “fake news.” This is the new method to discount virtually everything embarrassing.

  11. I am quite familiar with the circumstances under which McCarthy was asked, “Have you no decency, sir?” McCarthy was attempting to destroy the livelihood of a rather young man thru innuendo.

    I am surprised that this, of all quotes, is the basis for criticizing McMullin, while giving a total pass to all the inappropriate, destructive, & divisive comments that Trump utters. Trump regularly questions the character of all who disagree with him, often with no factual basis whatever.

    McMullin did not win, that is true, but I voted for him because I found his character to be a vast improvement over the two candidates representing the major political parties. I happen to believe that the Lord will hold us accountable for our votes, for the things we helped move forward with our support.

    To say that McMullin is a warmonger, I find particularly interesting. He was obviously not a pacifist, working in the CIA, but I see no evidence that he is one whit more likely to involve the US in a war than either Clinton or Trump.

    Trump is now the President-elect, but it would be a far reach across a great chasm to call him a “decent” man. Those who voted for him expect him to “keep his promises”. Trump has always done what is best for Trump, so after a lifetime of that pattern, I see no reasonable expectation of change. This is a man who informed his second wife that he was filing for divorce by “leaking” the information to The NY Times, & having a copy of the paper set on her bed where she could see the headline when she woke – that same wife to whom he promised ’til death do us part. He has no sense of decency, which makes the criticism of McMullin using the McCarthy quote all the more ironic.

  12. Marivene, you can believe two things at the same time, and they are not contradictory. One thing I believe is that McMullin is wrong on foreign policy, a conspiracy theorist and completely wrong and indecent when it comes to calling the president-elect “not a loyal American.” This statement is so wrong that I don’t think there is any counter-argument that makes it in any way acceptable, especially as a statement by a fellow latter-day Saint.

    The other thing I believe is that Trump has said a LOT of indecent, rude, crude and impolite things, and that his personal behavior is very often boorish and indecent. This is one of the reasons I didn’t vote for Trump.

    But this post is not about all of the indecent things Trump has said and done. That has been covered before on this blog and elsewhere. This post specifically discusses the indecent thing that Evan McMullin did, which was to question the loyalty of another American in a McCarthyite fashion.

  13. Geoff, allow me to clarify. Trump is loyal only to Trump. McMullin worded it more strongly, but I agree with him. I do not believe that Trump is a loyal American, but nor do I believe he is loyal to anything or anyone but himself. That is why I did not vote for him.

  14. Marivene, I disagree strongly with calling a president — any president — “not loyal.” Those are very strong words, and that is why I wrote this post. I despise Obama and think he has been a horrible president, but I don’t think he is not a loyal American. I think that kind of statement is beyond the pale, especially for somebody who is a president or president-elect. But you are welcome to your opinion. I disagree with it strongly.

  15. I also disagree with it strongly. I also maintain that most people’s dislike of Trump is really a dislike of a caricature of Trump that they believe is the real thing.

    I’ve been reading a biography of Andrew Jackson. Half of America in 1828 believed that Jackson was a volatile, uncouth menace to republican order and was unworthy of the presidency. History doesn’t repeat but it rhymes, said Mark Twain.

  16. I think there are a lot of interesting parallels between Jackson and Trump. Jackson took over a genteel, stale political party and created something entirely new based on populism. Jackson hated the establishment in New York and Washington. Jackson was popular with the forgotten men who were out of political power. He did things completely unheard of and broke a lot of existing paradigms. And like Trump is likely to do, Jackson did some good things and some bad things as president.

  17. Michael, perhaps you are correct in your assessment that most people’s dislike of Trump is really a dislike of a caricature of Trump, but I am only 7 years younger than the president-elect. I was old enough to remember his remarks & press coverage during the Vietnam war. I grew up in Ohio, & even as a teenager, I remembering thinking of him as someone who would sell his mother, or his country for a buck. Lot of strong words flew around during the Vietnam War, & the words “disloyal” and “unpatriotic” were frequently used, on both sides. In the aftermath of Vietnam, both of those words lost strength, in my opinion, & I do not believe either of the two words carry the negative weight that they previously held.

    I do consider it a sad state of affairs when I cannot feel that the president-elect is a loyal American, but my reading in the Book of Mormon reminds me that the modern day versions of the Gadianton robbers abound, & even in the D&C the Lord speaks of the evil designs in the hearts of men in the latter days. Whether or not we choose to call that conspiracy theories, it has been prophecied.

    Reading about President Taylor & Andrew Jackson have made me appreciate that the way our government is designed, it takes more than one branch being corrupted to topple, & for that I am grateful.

  18. Anyone who suspects Russia of trying to destabilize confidence in elections need only ask a few questions.

    How does revealing information that’s true about Hillary’s collusion with the press and mingling of donations for influence erode confidence in elections broadly instead if Hillary specifically. It’s her actions and those of her cohort that undermine her not elections.

    And if this is the way the “game” is played, we ought to have less confidence in it.

    Next, if we take the CIAs alleged info at face value that this erodes confidence then it’s equally possible that the CIA is just attempting to erode confidence in Trump.

    Remember, it’s already revealed that Hillary, the President, and her cohort conspired to get her elected. So why wouldn’t they spin this information to erode Trump?

    I say this as a nevertrumper who isn’t deceived by the the secret combination that was in place to put Hillary in.

    I’m certain that Romney was our best bet 4 years ago. Trump will not make America great. We need a moral and spiritual awakening. Trump will just hasten the day as the progressive machine is further whipped up into a frenzy.

    McMullen can be ignored. Trump can’t. We’re doomed as a nation unless we repent. Is Trump the man who can lead its there?

  19. I agree with Marivene that the word “unAmerican” has lost a lot of clout–even become a bit of a punchline–since its heydey in the 1960s.

    And Rameumptom’s point is a very cogent one that, I think, bears repeating:

    In this day and age, what does it really mean to be a “loyal American”-or, for that matter, a “disloyal American”?

  20. Geoff: just fyi, the conventional wisdom of McCarthy as the bad guy was debunked when the KGB files were opened by Boris Yeltsin in the 1990’s, and it was revealed that those people on his lists really were soviet spies/agents/informers, communists, and communist sympathizers.

    I forget the specific, but it might have been that the “young man” who was the subject of the “have you no decency, sir?” exchange was eventually revealed to actually be working for, or passing info on to, the soviets. I forget if he was one of McCarthy’s hits or actually one of the rare misses. My memory says it was a hit, but i don’t have time to detail-research that at the moment to confirm.

    The book that shows all the evidence for McCarthy, and exposes how the media and liberals lied about him through the years is:

    Ann Coulter also wrote a book of liberal/media lies throughout the cold war to 2004, that also contains much evidence of how the truth was actually on McCarthy’s side, but also covers more subjects:

    Anyone who thinks McCarthyism is/was about making false accusations for personal aggrandizement needs to read one or both of those books.

    I say none of this to excuse or defend Trump.

    Though, I must admit that I like Trump’s cabinet picks so far.

  21. {quote) I forget the specific, but it might have been that the “young man” who was the subject of the “have you no decency, sir?” exchange was eventually revealed to actually be working for, or passing info on to, the soviets. {unquote}

    You’re thinking of Frederick G. Fisher. No, he was not actually a communist.

    The McCarthyite revisionist history from know-nothing Ann Coulter and her useful idiots is repellant.

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