This election cycle has been bizarre, with the rise of two widely unpopular major party candidates in Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. While many do not like their options, somehow they secured their parties nomination.
But what do two unpopular major party candidates give us? The rise of third party candidates.
Independents and third party candidates have always existed, but seldom with the popularity we’re seeing now. Libertarian Gary Johnson is barely under the threshold from appearing on the debate stage. He also will be appearing on all fifty state ballots.
There’s a problem with these candidates, however. Whatever issues staunch libertarians and conservatives have with the former New Mexico Governor, he is still not someone moderate and mainstream Republicans will warm up to.
The openness to third party voting by the likes of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush isn’t a principled stand. Instead, it’s just a severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The Bush political dynasty have long been loyal Republicans, and Republicans themselves used scare tactics against third party voting when Romney ran for President. The same occurred when United States Senator John McCain ran, as well.
So, where does a candidate working for establishment Republicans in the House, with an intelligence background and Council on Foreign Relations connections, fit into everything?
On the issue of viability, Evan McMullin stands no chance. He’s either missed, or is going to miss, numerous filing deadlines to appear on ballots nationwide. On the other hand, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is on all fifty state ballots and actually has a shot at becoming President.
But McMullin is the man that moderate and mainstream Republicans have long sought. He doesn’t like Trump, he really doesn’t like Trump, and he really, really doesn’t like Trump. All of the qualification boxes have been checked.
In the future, a risky candidate like Donald Trump won’t happen. But third parties will always exist, and with this election they will have the potential to become greater. What if Johnson does break the 15% threshold and make it into the presidential debates? What if he becomes strong enough to actually influence this election?
The Republicans won’t want a third party challenger in the future when another Bush lines up for his chance at history. The scare tactics used in defense of Romney, about dividing the vote and re-electing the Democrat, will again be used.
This is where Evan McMullin comes in. He has about as much of a mathematical chance at becoming President of the United States as Deez Nuts. But if Republicans can boost McMullin, they will divide the right wing vote and help Hillary Clinton. Instead of backing a third party candidate that can win, like Johnson, they will back a candidate who will lose and fracture the Republican vote. Guaranteeing Clinton’s ascension by backing a losing candidate will help argue against future Johnsons. Republicans are laying the groundwork for the future by fulfilling their own scare tactics and fear prophecies now.
No more McMullins, America. It’s time for Bush Part 4.