Informed Consent: Why I joined the Republican Party after 8 years of fighting with it

I’ve been an independent voter since I registered to vote and I’ve been proud of it. It has allowed me to sidestep the silly, stupid, damaging tribal identities that (I think) blind people to the efficacy or desirability of particular policies – forcing them instead to adopt whichever focus-grouped hashtag rallying cry their leaders slapped on a tweet. Earlier this year, I registered as a Republican to caucus against Trump and then immediately unregistered before Reince Priebus could sneak into my bedroom and try to sell my Ronald Reagan boxers…

Hillary for president

I am a man of many mantras. I speak in idioms. I am not so much a person that teaches lessons in parables, but am a scholar who tries to impart my life’s experiences onto others with a sagacious, laconic phrase. One of those mantras has been oft repeated by me in the past year with such frequency that I can scantily go a day without giving voice to the words. That phrase is: Never speak in absolutes. Since the early days of 1992, I have found the pathological lying,…

No “risk” in a vote for McMullin

A couple of days ago I wrote in this space that “Utah Should Risk a McMullin Vote.” This was an unfortunate headline, which I hereby retract. The plain fact is that, in Utah, there is no down-side risk to a vote for Evan McMullin for president and plenty of upsides. The earlier headline was a response to an earlier column by Jesse Harris that, because so little was known about Evan McMullin, it would be a mistake to give him any attention. Heavens! He might try to influence the political…

Why I’m voting for Evan McMullin

Evan McMullin has no chance to win the presidency. Likely scenarios, in order: 1. Hillary Clinton gets over 270 electoral votes. 2. Neither candidate gets 270 electoral votes, and Evan McMullin wins Utah. 3. Donald Trump gets 270 electoral votes. SCENARIO #1 – Hillary Clinton Gets Over 270 Electoral Votes If you removed all toss-up states from the RCP Electoral Map – meaning if a candidate has an average of 0.1% better than the other in the polls, you give them the state – then Hillary Clinton would win 333…

Utah should risk an Evan McMullin vote

Nationally, this presidential election is over: Donald Trump gets somewhere between 150 and 200 Electoral College votes (possibly fewer), and we get to endure four more years of Obama-Clintonism. It will be painful, but we will survive it. The task then becomes the reconstruction of a political party that can produce a center-right majority starting in 2020. Possibly that will be a Republican Party cleansed in one way or another; possibly it will be a new party made up of the remains of the Republican Party with some added pieces…

Evan McMullin hysteria

Evan McMullin has come out of nowhere to lead the presidential polls in Utah and now we’re seeing the beginnings of a weirdly furious backlash. My facebook feed started filling up with so-called exposes of McMullin over the last couple of weeks and I finally got around to reading them. Spoiler Alert – they’re crap. Seriously, with headlines blaring pretty major accusations I figured someone had dug up something nefarious in McMullin’s past or some terrible policy position he holds. So when I read these posts I was terribly confused.…

Testing Evan McMullin

Last week, Wednesday evening found me in the ballroom at the historic Provo City Library at Academy Square, doing something I had never done before: listening to an independent presidential candidate speak. The candidate was Evan McMullin. The crowd included infants, children, youth, middle-agers like me, senior citizens, and countless late millennials and early post-millennials, that is, college students. We were only a few blocks from BYU, after all. I already had a mixed bag of first impressions. In press appearances, Mr. McMullin sounded like an intelligent guy with a fine…

I’m treating McMullin with caution. You should, too.

Utah has basically lost its mind for Evan McMullin, the come-from-nowhere presidential candidate that seems to surprisingly have a decent shot at the state’s electoral votes. I know a lot of people who are either enthusiastic supporters or strongly considering a ballot cast for him. Unfortunately, I see a lot of things that make me extremely skeptical of this man, his background, and his intentions and far too much starry-eyed fangirling over what I can only describe as the “perfect Utah candidate”. Here are some reasons why we should be…

No, we shouldn’t be treating Evan McMullin as a serious candidate

“It’s never too late to do the right thing.” So says long-shot independent candidate Evan McMullin on his campaign website. Yet it’s pretty obvious that sometimes it is too late. He announced a bid for president on August 8 after missing the filing deadline for ballot access in 21 states and having less than a month in 18 more. To date, the only states where he has ballot access are Utah, Colorado, and Minnesota. There’s no huge financial backer funding a media blitz to make up for lost time or provide any…