A lot of friends I respect are getting behind Evan McMullin as a possible presidential candidate.
I am #neverMcMullin.
This post will explain why. But first an important disclaimer. By all accounts McMullin, who is LDS, is a moral person. Unlike at least two other presidential candidates, he has not disqualified himself by being a corrupt, lying jerk. So, I can understand the desire, especially by Mormons, to try to find a candidate to support. And you could certainly do worse than McMullin.
But I cannot support him, and I think Mormons are being somewhat naive in supporting him.
Evan McMullin has no executive experience of any kind. Evan McMullin, 40, graduated from BYU in 2001. He worked for the CIA in counterterrorism for 10 years until 2011. Then he worked for Goldman Sachs for two years. In 2013, McMullin became a senior adviser on national security issues for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. McMullin became the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference in 2015. McMullin resigned from his position as chief policy director shortly before declaring his run for president. McMullin’s big cause in the last few years has been to oppose Assad in Syria and encourage U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict. More on this later.
But the bottom line is that McMullin has never been elected to anything, nor has he run a large company or even a large government bureaucracy. He has zero executive experience.
Evan McMullin’s presidential run is the creation of the same people who crafted and supported George W Bush’s failed foreign policy. You can read more about this here. The bottom line is that some of the nation’s most ardent neocons, led by William Kristol, were desperate to find somebody to run against Trump. Why? Because Trump said he was against the war in Iraq and talked about peacefully cooperating with Russia. This they could not countenance because in the world of Bill Kristol the United States must constantly look for new enemies abroad. Most Americans think the Iraq invasion was a massive mistake and want the U.S. to keep out of Syria and to be friendly with Russia. But Kristol wants constant war in the Middle East and constant tension with Russia. Who cares that’s Kristol’s foreign policy has been a massive failure: we must continue the same crazy policies until the end, according to the neocons.
Let me make it clear right here that one of the reasons I am not voting for Trump is that I don’t believe he would actually follow through on a significantly better foreign policy. I think he is unstable enough to get us into a war with some foreign leader who isn’t polite enough to him. So, I side with Kristol in opposing Trump, but I don’t think the solution is going back to Bush’s foreign policy, which by the way is the primary reason we got Obama in the first place.
Mormons are being taken for granted — again. I believe that Kristol primarily supported McMullin with the idea of preventing Trump from winning Utah. Kristol noticed that Mormons are not crazy about Trump, who lost big time in Utah during the primaries. Kristol does not care if Hillary is elected, because he can count on Hillary being in favor of every crazy new war that comes along, as well as reigniting a few of the old ones. Kristol sees Trump as the primary threat. And Mormons are falling for Kristol’s trap by supporting his Manchurian candidate. The latest poll shows that Trump and Hillary and McMullin are very close in Utah. Kristol believes that Mormons, like sheep, will vote for the LDS candidate. I find this insulting.
Face it: most people who favor McMullin know very little about him except that he is Mormon and he appears to have traditional Republican positions. He has not been vetted. Who knows what skeletons he has in his closet? Shouldn’t we know more about a candidate before entrusting our nuclear arsenal to him?
Go to Evan McMullin’s web site. He wants war, war and more war. Here is the link to his web site. Yes, McMullin is good on some issues. He is pretty much a standard moderate to conservative Republican in many ways. But look at his first priority: “National Security.” And then scroll down. His fourth priority is “America’s Role in the World.” He slams Trump for agreeing with sequestration, which was an extremely moderate attempt to control government spending, including the military. The U.S. spends more on the military than the seven largest militaries in the world, yet McMullin wants to spend more.
McMullin wants the U.S. to be the world’s policeman. The Founding Fathers repeatedly warned against involvement in foreign wars. Yet every year we find new enemies abroad. And meanwhile we have a large and ever out of control national debt, fueled in part by our excessive military spending.
Here is what McMullin wants to do (from his web site): “Evan will impose tougher sanctions on Russia and increase America’s military presence in the Baltics in order to deter and reverse Putin’s aggression, rather than pretending that he is a partner for peace in Syria. Evan will stand up for the rights of American and allied ships to sail freely in international waters, rather than letting China dominate the Western Pacific.”
Yes, you read that correctly: McMullin wants to put troops on Russia’s borders and pick a fight with China. How would we respond if Russia or China put troops in Mexico or Canada? We know the answer to that because Soviet missiles in Cuba almost led to nuclear war in 1962. It seems to me that McMullin is the aggressive one here, not the Russians or the Chinese.
I would propose another course: let the parties in Syria fight it out without our involvement (except as a humanitarian force). Syria is not central to U.S. national interests. We don’t share borders with Syria. We should also recognize that Russia and China are trading partners. We can be neutral toward these countries and see where we can cooperate, rather than immediately and obsessively seeking to make these countries enemies.
My vision of the United States is one where we trade and are at peace with the world. It is one where we vigorously respond to attacks and defend our borders but remain neutral in conflicts that are none of our business. We should spend much more on intelligence — trying to spot potential enemies before they get to our country — and much less on troops and armament. We should shutter most of our foreign military bases and concentrate on threats to those countries that are essential to the U.S. national interest.
McMullin’s support of Syrian rebels is a massive failure. McMullin’s primary cause in the last few years has been arming Syrian rebels to overthrow Assad. Now, let’s make this clear: Assad is a bad guy, at least as bad as Saddam Hussein. But from the perspective of the U.S., Assad keeping a lid on all of the crazy factions in Syria is in our national interest. Let’s look at the record: we got rid of Saddam Hussein, and the result was ISIS. We got rid of Qadafi in Libya, and the result was complete chaos in Libya and the Benghazi attack. Again, I am not saying we should support Assad, but our record in the Middle East has been about bad as you can get. How can McMullin or anybody else assure that the arms he wants to send to anti-Assad forces don’t end up in the hands of ISIS? He cannot, because one of the primary sources of ISIS weapons is the United States. So, to sum up: McMullin wants more weapons for ISIS. Great.
McMullin’s foreign policy is immoral and will result in more war. Morality is not just about good personal conduct and not being corrupt, power-hungry and crazy like Hillary and Trump. Morality also involves the policies you will promote. If there is one clear lesson from the Book of Mormon, it is that wars and contention cause the Spirit of God to flee, and the end result is apocalyptic war. The Book of Mormon is not a pacifist book in the strictest sense. Wars of self-defense are justified. If the United States is attacked, I believe we are morally obligated to defend ourselves and our country. But there is simply no example in the Book of Mormon of righteous soldiers venturing into enemy territory for years and years, as the U.S. has done in Afghanistan. The pattern of the Book of Mormon for righteous war is: sue for peace. When the attack is imminent, ask God to protect you through sincere prayer and fasting. Constantly offer a peaceful solution. When attacked, fight to protect your homes and your family and your liberty. When you win, be compassionate to your enemies. I see none of this in Evan McMullin’s foreign policy. In fact, his policy is the opposite of what the Book of Mormon teaches.
I have three young sons and two daughters, and I don’t want them dying in an unnecessary foreign war. I honestly believe that a foreign policy of defending our country, suing for peace with our potential enemies and asking God’s help will make our country safer. It will be less likely that my children will have to die in some foreign war. If the United States is directly attacked, I will go to the fight with my own weapons if need be, and some of my children might go with me. But battles in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen — NO! I cannot support it, and I cannot support for president somebody likely to make that happen.
If you are interested, I will be voting for Darrell Castle of the Constitution party for president. I think there are also advantages in voting for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian party. I can get behind voting for either of those two guys, but #neverMcMullin, #neverTrump and #neverHillary.