5 Conservative Reasons to Vote for Evan McMullin
3. The national security candidate.
Donald Trump may chant "America First," but does he really understand the nuances of America's unique and dangerous position in the world? Hillary Clinton may have experience as secretary of State, but is it really good experience?
In classic Trump fashion, the Republican nominee has thrown out all sorts of harebrained ideas, from encouraging nuclear proliferation to telling America's allies to pick up the slack for their own defense. He has notoriously refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons, and while he pledges to defeat the Islamic State, he has also vowed to violate the Geneva Conventions by going after the families of terrorists. Trump is unpredictable, but he is also inexperienced.
While Trump is too much of a novice, Clinton is too much of a status-quo politician. As the New York Times' Ross Douthat explained, the dangers of a Clinton presidency are "the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideas." This "establishmentarian type of folly" has spawned "almost every crisis that has come upon the West in the last 15 years," and on every major issue, Clinton was there with shifting elite opinion: for Iraq, against Iraq, for the Arab Spring, for intervention in Libya, against opposing Putin when it mattered.
McMullin presents a unique mix of the benefits of each candidate. He worked for the CIA from 2001 to 2011, working overseas on terrorism and intelligence operations in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. He was an undercover operations officer with the National Clandestine Service. In short, Evan McMullin was a spy.
This means that he knows secrets few politicians have the clearance to learn, and he is also fundamentally unpredictable. He has Trump's unpredictability with an international knowledge possibly better than Clinton's.
McMullin also has a philanthropic view of American foreign policy. As Gallagher noted, his Facebook posts suggest he cares deeply about genocide and female genital mutilation — and thinks America should act to stop them. He served as senior adviser on national security issues for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs from 2013 to 2015, before he became chief policy director of the House Republican Conference (the job he had last before running for president). This might make him too much of a hawk, but it echoes President George W. Bush's concern for AIDS.
Despite these positives, McMullin might prove less reliable in denouncing radical Islamic terrorism. He has warned against Muslim-bashing and insisted that "refugees are not terrorists."
Nevertheless, there is reason to think he understands the threat well from his experience, even if he speaks about it in a politically correct way. He told National Review in August that ISIS terrorists "eat, drink, and sleep to destroy us." He explained his political correctness persuasively, arguing that "Muslims actually play a critical role in our counterterrorism efforts."
For these reasons, he seems the most trustworthy candidate on foreign policy — which actually is the most important job of the president.
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