Except in Utah, voting Trump is best way NeverTrump conservatives can help Evan McMullin

I’ve been a NeverTrumper from the moment Trump entered the race. Once he had locked up the Republican nomination, I even switched my party registration from Republican to Libertarian in disgust. As I’ve investigated how to justify voting in a way that would help elect Hillary, the Libertarian Party’s battle for ballot access nationally and in Maine has been the best avenue to this point. Furthermore, if they get 5% of the popular vote nationally, the Libertarians will qualify for federal matching funds in 2020.

The two-party system is broken, the nomination of both Trump and Clinton is proof of that. And the best way to start breaking that monopoly up is to help a third party gain traction. During the Libertarian Party primary, I was excited about Austin Petersen’s candidacy, but since Johnson became the official nominee I’ve been only been a lukewarm supporter of the libertarian ticket.

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Can Evan McMullin stand in the away of Trump and Clinton?

Therefore, the meteoric rise of Evan McMullin’s candidacy for President in recent Utah polls has me intrigued. If he were to win Utah and neither Clinton or Trump were able to secure 270 delegates, then McMullin, Clinton, and Trump would all be up for consideration by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to decide the next President of the United States. And since Speaker Ryan would be presiding over that historical event, there’s no guarantee Trump would automatically get the nod considering the recent tough love between those two.

Running the Numbers

So you probably see where I’m going with this, but if not I’ll spell it out. The only way to keep Hillary from getting to 270 is for Donald Trump to win in enough battleground states to stop her. So unless you live in Utah, a vote for Trump is in order for NeverTrump supporters who want to help Evan McMullin.

The only way to keep Hillary from getting to 270 is for Donald Trump to win in enough battleground states to stop her.

I live in Maine’s 2nd District (out of 2), and it is actually considered a battleground because it’s much more conservative than Maine’s 1st District, and our state awards one delegate for the popular vote winner in each district (then 2 more delegates to the overall statewide winner). Here’s an electoral scenario that deadlocks under 270 delegates — notice Maine’s 2nd District awarding one to Trump.

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As you can see in the above map, to finish at 268-264 I’ve allocated Utah (6) to McMullin, and awarded the battleground states of FL (29), OH (18), NC (15), AZ (11), IA (6), NV (6), NH (4), and ME-02 (1) to Trump. While he trails in most of those states, if NeverTrumpers and a large portion of Gary Johnson voters in each of those states broke to Trump then they are all back in play.

Check out the state-by-state polling averages for yourself (use dropdown box at the top-left to change state, and keep an eye on Johnson’s numbers in each).

Bottom Line

TL;DR — If you are a NeverTrump conservative, Evan McMullin is your best bet because he’s on track to secure some delegates by winning Utah. However, if you live in a battleground state (or battleground district as is the case with my ME-02 district) that’s not Utah, then the best way to propel McMullin’s chances is to vote Donald Trump to keep Hillary from 270. So given the current electoral map, the best NeverTrump option is to vote for Donald Trump (assuming you also don’t want Hillary).

Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first either. I was in denial for a few minutes. But the more I thought it through, the more I realized it was true. A vote for Donald Trump is likely the very best way to increase Evan McMullin’s chances of victory.

Trust me, I didn’t believe it at first either… A vote for Donald Trump is likely the very best way to increase Evan McMullin’s chances of victory.

It’s been a crazy election year already so you never know. As always, vote your conscience.

Why I’m still #NeverTrump and hedging my bets until 2020

In my previous post, I gave a quick rundown on why my fellow Christians don’t need to vote Trump if they don’t want to, despite what they tell me most days. In this post, I’m going to share my explanation of why I’m willing to hedge my bets until 2020 for the better good.

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Let’s say — for the sake of argument — that Donald Trump defies all odds on November 8th and taps into enough fear and anger, as well as disdain for Hillary Clinton, to pull off a narrow victory in 2016. I offer that for the conservative movement and values — as well as the Republican Party — the long-term outlook would be much more grim than were he to lose.

Hear me out…

In 2020, Trump would be running for re-election against an eager field of Democratic candidates — all NOT Hillary Clinton — in a political climate that will undoubtedly include an American electorate fed up with Trump’s antics, and a GOP likely decimated from carrying his water or outright opposing him for 4 years.  These conditions would allow a Democratic president to again take power in 2020 likely holding office two terms (as long as they’re a reasonable and well-spoken human being). So by 2028, counting Trump’s 4 years, we will have had 12 more years of total chaos and upheaval within conservatism and the Republican Party.

If you think there’s going to be some Supreme Court picks in the next 4 years, what about the next 8-12?!

The alternative, which I’m counting on, is to hunker down and support a Republican party hopefully UNITED in opposition to a President Hillary (and able to block any extreme liberal Supreme Court nominees), who will then offer up a strong field of non-Trump candidates in 2020. Having experienced 3 terms of Obama/Hillary one-party rule, the American electorate will then be ready for a change (just like in 1992 after 3 terms of Reagan/Bush).

Again, to each his own, vote for Trump if that’s what you feel is best. I just have an alternative viewpoint and will likely be supporting the Johnson/Weld Libertarian ticket in 2020 to help the libertarian party with ballot access in future elections. As I’ve said before, one of the best ways forward in this country is to break the two-party stranglehold.

 

Fellow Christian, Trump may need us but we do not need him

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If I had a dollar for every time a fellow Christian told me we “need Trump”, I could single-handedly fund my church’s next building campaign.

The line of reasoning typically goes something like this —

  • Donald Trump wasn’t my first choice but he is the only good choice remaining.
  • If Hillary wins she will appoint very liberal justices to the Supreme Court and we will “lose many of our freedoms.”
  • Hillary does not believe the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns. She will appoint justices who will “take away our guns”.
  • Hillary Clinton wants more Syrian refugees imported into our nation and she wants a country with open borders.
  • Hillary Clinton wants abortion on demand, and at any time during the pregnancy.
  • We “need Donald Trump” to keep President Hillary Clinton and her liberal agenda from becoming a reality.

And to which I respond the following —

  • It only takes 41 U.S. Senators to block an extreme liberal Supreme Court nominee. In this political climate, I hold out that even moderate Republicans will stand against the nomination of an extremely liberal activist judge.
  • Hillary will be gone by 2020, and 3 of the oldest judges are already liberal or liberal leaning (Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy). So even if she got 3 picks in 4 years, the balance of power wouldn’t even change.
  • If you don’t think Hillary will be extremely vulnerable in 2020 then you’re not paying attention. The only reason she’s even winning now is because Trump is such a TERRIBLE candidate.
  • If Hillary actually promoted “abortion on demand to the final trimester”, Americans — who have been trending more pro-life in recent years —  would revolt. Same idea in regards to trying to “take away our guns.” If she tried it, the Dems would lose huge in the 2018 midterms, and she would be a lame duck until 2020 (even better).
  • Donald Trump is only pandering to the anti-abortion vote. He doesn’t even mention the Pro-Life issue anywhere on the policies page of his website (trust me, I looked).
  • Open borders produce free markets, but if we just enforced existing immigration law we’d be fine.
  • As Christians we are called to extend a helping hand to the “least of these.” The fear-mongering when it comes to Syrian refugees is maddening.
  • A strong Republican Congress can hold her feet to the fire as the opposition party in DC. If Trump is elected, they have to carry his water — very bad for a generation of Conservatism.
  • Jesus is King, quit with the “we will lose many of our freedoms” scare tactics. You’re being fed a load of crap.
  • Hillary’s policies may result in persecution of the church from the outside, but Trump will poison it from the inside (as he is already doing). I contend the latter would be much worse.

So while Donald Trump knows he needs our votes to win, which is why he shamelessly panders for the pro-life vote and plays to the Christian Right’s need for political power, we do not need him. Vote for him if you want, but please don’t tell me I need to.

If persecution comes and our faith is tested, that just means Jesus was right. Our faith would be affirmed by such trials. Count me in, and onward to 2020!

More reading from others —

So am I not going to vote?

I still plan to vote on November 8th, and will support the Republican and conservative candidates down ballot for Congress, and at the state and local level. For president, I will likely vote for the Gary Johnson/Bill Weld libertarian ticket — not because I agree with everything they stand for, but because every vote they receive helps with ballot access for the Libertarian Party in future elections. The best way forward for this country is to support every effort to break the two-party stranglehold. In Maine, voting for Gary Johnson is the best means toward that end. If you live in Utah, I would encourage you to support Evan McMullin.

Read Next –> My position explained: Why I’m still #NeverTrump and hedging my bets until 2020

Why I changed my voter registration from Republican to Libertarian

Libertarian_Registration_Change_City_Hall_croppedBeginning when I joined the College Republicans in 2000 during the first Bush/Cheney campaign, to my time in the Maine Young Republicans leading up to McCain/Palin, to supporting many local and statewide races within State Party politics ever since — I’ve always been relatively active in the Republican Party. A “wannabe activist” if you will.

Now in my mid-30’s and 2016 happened. In an open election season that began so promising with 17 candidates, I started as a Rand Paul supporter… before shifting to Rubio… until finally settling on Cruz — all in hopes of avoiding Trump.

Then Trump became a reality.

While some of my Republican friends are still holding out hope that there will be mutiny at the National Convention, and the Grand Old Party will cast aside the bombastic casino owner of Reality TV fame, I decided it was time to begin looking for other options.

A week or so after Ted Cruz suspended his campaign, I decided to see who the Libertarian Party was running this year. Gary Johnson, their nominee from 2012, was back again. However, it was a young upstart who caught my attention — Austin Petersen. Barely old enough to run for President, he was saying all the right things from my center-right, pro-life perspective. He communicated Libertarian principles in a way that just made sense. He was my guy!

From there I found the online libertarian subculture. From Libertarianism.org’s introduction, to Reason’s free thinking, to the Cato Institute — and every Facebook page and Twitter account of liberty activists in between — I had discovered people that actually cared about their country AND their individual rights!

The Libertarian National Convention rolled around and I followed the events on CSPAN with intrigue — and intriguing it certainly was — with their Libertarian brand of self expression and humor. My candidate of choice did not get the nod, but the more well-known Gary Johnson was given another shot to expand on his record 1% from 2012.

Closer to home in Maine, the Libertarian Party was caught in a court battle. And as chance would have it, right around the time I was most interested in “being Libertarian”, a judge ruled in favor of the LP of Maine and granted them until July 12th to simply garner 462 more voter registrations in order to become an officially recognized party in our state.

Most people agree the 2-party system is broken in our country. Joining the LP in Maine was my chance to help break up the monopoly. I could be one of those 462 registrations!

So as of June 9th 2016, it officially happened. Here is photographic evidence:

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Leaving Bangor City Hall I felt a sense of freedom I can’t easily explain. The weight of Donald Trump was off my back, and the air smelled a little sweeter.

Sure the Libertarian President ticket is a little too socially liberal for my liking. I’ve even shared how the Johnson/Weld ticket could tidy up their message a bit to appeal to more voters “like me”… But that’s just it — who am I to force “my liking” onto every other possible LP voter?

Who knows what post-2016 will bring. I can honestly say I hope Trump loses and sails off into the sunset never to return to the Republican Party again — even if that means 4 years of Hillary. The conservative movement could regroup and beat her in 2020, and would be all the better for it. Hillary’s possible Supreme Court nominations don’t worry me either.

Maybe someday I’ll rejoin the GOP, especially if Rand Paul (or Justin Amash) ever run in a GOP presidential primary again.

But others say the GOP may go the way of the Whig Party (see below video) — which would be no skin off my back as I’ve already found a new home.

Onward for Freedom!