“McMullin will likely not appear on enough ballots to win the necessary Electoral College majority of 270 electoral votes. However, McMullin hopes to deny a majority of the electoral vote from either of the two major party candidates. In such a scenario, under the the terms of the Twelfth Amendment, the House of Representatives would select among the top-three electoral vote winners. McMullin hopes that he could win the presidential election by finishing among the top-three electoral vote winners, and then winning the contingent election in the House.”
Reportedly, Evan McMullin also hopes to some day be able to burrow to China, like a mole, so he can see the terracotta warriors without paying airfare and going through Customs. (All right, I made that up.)
How ridiculous do a Presidential candidate’s “hopes” have to be before they disqualify him to be President? Whatever the answer is, Evan McMullin has lapped it. Either he is dangerously detached from reality, or he’s exploiting deperate voters by lying to them. On the chart above, only the orange states have McMullin on the ballot. The yellow states allow write-ins, which mean he is on the ballot exactly as I am, or Donald Duck, Batman, and Britney Spears. In the rest, you can’t vote for him at all.
McMullin didn’t even announce his candidacy until August 8. Why the rush, Evan? This is like the joke about Poland’s greatest comedian being asked what the secret to comedy is, and before the question is completed he shouts, “Timing!” Timing is essential to effective leadership too, as the dithering style of Barack Obama has shown in many tragic ways. [I expect him to give an eloquent speech about the dangers of racial distrust and attacks on the rule of law —as, for example, in this fiasco—sometime in 2018. Probably on a golf course.] It was clear to anyone paying attention that the U.S. was going to be stuck with a Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton binary hell-choice by the end of May, when the Libertarian Party demonstrated to the world that it is a joke. Was McMullin not paying attention? That’s a bad sign, don’t you think?
The U.S. Presidency is important, and elections are important. One of the first times I wrote a post critical of Donald Trump was when he first floated the idea of running for President several cycles ago, and it was clear—then— that he was doing it as a publicity stunt. This was signature significance, I wrote. Only a massive jerk (I already knew Trump was a massive jerk, of course) with no concern for his country sets out to confuse and confound the easily confused and confounded American voter by throwing random pollution into the Presidential campaign. After the 2000 election, where the twin ego-driven campaigns of Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan probably changed the identity of the next President by sheer chance, it was obvious that nobody should put themselves on the ballot unless there is a very good reason related to the nation’s welfare. Building a credible third party option over time is a good reason, or can be if the party doesn’t try to do it by nominating an incompetent. Running for President for vanity, or to sell merchandise, or to get speaking gigs, is not a good reason. It is unethical.
McMullin is running as an independent, but there is no real independent party. He’s running to win Utah, but you can’t be President of Utah. He can’t hurt Clinton, but he can hurt Trump. Oh, right—the House scenario. Did you know that Charles Guiteau shot Garfield believing that the nation would turn to him, a screwball disbarred lawyer, once Garfield was dead? Guiteau ‘s plan was exactly as plausible as McMullin’s.
Only being on the ballots of Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina and Kentucky, all McMullin can do is distort the election process, and, of course, provide an imaginary balm for self-deluded Americans who feel they have a responsibility to vote but who lack the courage to meaningfully participate in a crucial, if nauseating, choice, leaving the miserable work to the rest of us while preparing to roll their eyes to heaven, act superior and say “Don’t blame me!” for the next four years.
It’s unethical to provide temptations to make others behave unethically, like persuading them to vote for phony candidates. It is unethical to intentionally throw random factors into a Presidential election. It is unethical to run for President without a clear and responsible purpose.
Evan McMullin is an unethical candidate, and we have too many of those already.