Politics wouldn’t be politics without copious amounts of mental masturbation, but every once in a while, there’s enough of it to cause instant blindness. Amongst conservatives, the blinders have been put on for a guy who no one knows: Evan McMullin.
This post is not about Evan McMullin. I don’t know who he is, nor do I care. He has the name of that guy you kinda know, your neighbor who wears cutoffs, black socks, and sandals while chomping a cigar. Seems nice enough.
Evan, though, doesn’t matter.
Who does matter? The Principled People Who Vote For Principles matter. It coulda been that guy from NRO (he got no traction) or that other guy–it could be anyone, really, because the person is just an excuse to avoid responsibility.
Politics, you see, is horrible. It’s made up of fallible human beings and as such, can result in being forced into completely untenable positions: two evils exist and the voter must decide which is worse.
Some are deciding to sit it out. Some are deciding to only vote down-ticket. Some are holding their noses and voting for Clinton. Some are holding their noses and voting for Trump. Some are voting Libertarian.
Voting for Hillary Clinton is really the only honest protest-vote. The others, especially the Evan McMullin vote, are votes meant as cover. It’s too psychologically difficult to actually pull the lever for Hillary Clinton so a conservative votes for a guy with no chance and in withholding votes for Trump, helps Hillary.
This is where folks feel compelled to give me math lessons.
And this is where I get irritated. In a binary system like ours, a “protest vote” either helps or harms the two main candidates. That’s the whole purpose. The only role the vote can play is as spoiler. The question is who does that vote spoil?
In the case of an Evan McMullin vote, it’s obvious. The only people who know who this guy is are staunch conservatives waiting for either Marco Rubio (I notice that all of Rubio’s surrogates are all-in on McMullin) or Ted Cruz to come back and save the day in 2020 (they’re assuming there will be a day to save, but that’s another story.) So the only candidate that gets spoiled in this scenario is Donald Trump. It is a defacto vote for Hillary because Hillary is the only one who benefits from this vote.
The same is not true for the Johnson-Weld ticket which is why it sounds like Weld might be getting antsy. He realizes that the ticket may be hurting Hillary more than Trump and that was never the intent of this ticket. Libertarians (Big “L”) tend to be socially liberal and fiscally, occasionally, conservative, and so they assume they’re taking votes from Republicans and don’t mind because they like Democrats better. This year has been a surprise for them.
Ethan Edward Evan McMullin. Conservatives don’t want a pro-choice candidate (Johnson) and don’t want to help Trump (Johnson), so they’re voting McMullin (who hurts Trump.)
The more honest vote would be to vote for the pro-abortion, corrupt, foreign-policy train wreck that is Hillary Clinton, but that would be psychologically untenable. Also, it’s more difficult to morally preen when you vote for Clinton. She’s just so dirty.
Doesn’t mean that a vote for McMullin is any better, though. It just feels better. That’s why it’s,….well, you know.
Exit thought: What if Hillary turns out to be the psychotic tyrant non-Trump voters fear? Will McMullin voters own it?