The News
The News
Saturday 27 of November 2021

Evan Who?


Brynnley Pyne kisses cardboard cutout of Evan McMullin in Salt Lake City,photo: Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News, via AP
Brynnley Pyne kisses cardboard cutout of Evan McMullin in Salt Lake City,photo: Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News, via AP
McMullin is both pro-life and pro-free trade, but he believes that the Supreme Court ruling on Wade vs. Roe and gay rights should remain intact

Two days ago, I wrote about the quirky way that the relatively unknown Libertarian candidate Evan McMullin could actually walk away as the winner of the U.S. presidential elections (see “The McMullin Save,” which ran in this space on Oct. 24).

Now, it only seems fair to offer a brief portrait of the 40-year-old political wonder who could change the outcome of the current pick-your-poison face-off between the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton and the GOP candidate Donald Trump.

Already showing significant jumps in voter recognition, the come-from-behind McMullin (who only entered the race three months ago) is the ideal candidate for leftists, rightists and middle-of-the-roaders.

To begin with, this ultra-versatile third-party candidate is a master of all trades, having graduated with a master’s degree from ivy-league Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania after having completed a B.A. in international law and diplomacy at Bingham Young University.

He has served as a Goldman Sachs investment banker, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and a CIA counterterrorism operations officer, all after having worked as a resettlement volunteer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan.

During his stint in the U.S. Congress, he was a senior advisor in the House Committee for Foreign Affairs and later became the chief policy director for the House Republican conference.

Born in Provo, Utah, he is a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), but has progressive views on social issues such as abortion and gay rights.

A true conservative, McMullin is both pro-life and pro-free trade, but he believes that the Supreme Court ruling on Wade vs. Roe and gay rights should remain intact.

Because of his personal religious views, McMullin does not agree with gay marriage, but he recognizes that it is accepted in U.S. society and wants to talk about other issues, publicly saying that “it is time to move on” over these controversial debates.

McMullin also supports a path to “earned legalization” for undocumented immigrants in the United States, a stance that puts him squarely at odds with immigration hardliner Trump.

McMullin wants to get rid of the Common Core learning standards and dramatically reform higher education to ensure that graduates get degrees that lead to jobs.

By the same token, McMullin has said that he would require all public and private colleges and universities to provide graduation rates to perspective students so that they know what to expect from the institution.

McMullin’s choice of a Jewish woman as his running mate echoes his formal commitment to social and economic equality for all religions, races and genders.

Yes, McMullin’s chances of winning are still a slim to none, but, as I explained in my previous column, there is a loophole in the Electoral College system that would allow him to have a chance at the presidency if neither of the two major candidates gets 270 electoral votes.

According to the polls, McMullin has already taken the lead in his native Utah, and he is also gaining steam in Nevada, Wyoming and Idaho.

And, wouldn’t it be nice to have a young, sharp, well-spoken president who neither derogates minorities nor flaunts the U.S. legal system by tossing out 32,000 sensitive government emails?

As I said earlier this week, it could happen.

Thérèse Margolis can be reached at [email protected]