In 2016, a small number of conservatives, desperate for an alternative to Donald Trump, cast their protest vote for independent candidate Evan McMullin. Yet, even with the benefit of running against two highly flawed candidates — and fawning widespread media attention — the former CIA operations officer and investment banker came in far behind even Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.
Now, if sanctimonious posturing was our only political currency, McMullin would be in his second term right now. But as it goes, he has, like many professional Never Trumpers, turned on some of the most basic, long-held conservative positions simply because Trump or his fans supported them. He is as unserious and unprincipled as any partisan MAGA supporter he decried in 2016.
If there was any doubt, McMullin has announced he’s challenging one of the most traditionally conservative, non-Trumpy senators in Washington, D.C., Mike Lee of Utah. Lee won his state by 61.6 percent in 2010 and 68.2 percent in 2016. I’m no expert on Utah politics, but if McMullin, who won 21 percent of Utah’s votes in 2016, believes he can really knock off Lee by bringing together Democrats and independents, he’s targeting one of our most Constitution-conscious senators. If not, he is, like last time, running another profitable vanity project, rather than targeting a House race, which would be a task far more compatible with his limited skill set. Either way, he’s turned out to be a fraud.