Mormons Can Do Better Than Evan McMullin

I am and always have been a political junkie. It began in 2008 when I was a brash young eighth grader with a passion for debate and discussion. This was an election year and so naturally I was interested in the presidential election. I was so invested in politics that I actually went around in the lunchroom cafeteria to ask many of my friends about their support for either John McCain or Barack Obama. Fast forward to the 2016 election and this political junkie just can't get enough. Whether it's been Trumps constant lies to Hillary's email scandal this election has definitely been one of extreme highs and lows. Coming from an LDS background I am proud that so many from my faith tradition have solidly rejected Trump and his ruthless attacks and demeaning language towards every demographic in this country including, but not limited to women, Muslims, Mexicans, people with disabilities, and people of color. Mormons have so solidly rejected Trump that it's actually having real ramifications - Donald Trump might actually lose Utah, the first time a Republican hasn't carried the state in nearly 50+ years. While I am glad so many Mormons have rejected Trump I am also perplexed that they've flocked to the seriously flawed candidate Evan McMullin.

Now don't get me wrong, Evan McMullin is far better than Trump. McMullin is not bombastic or divisive; he doesn't brag about sexually assaulting women or call all Mexicans rapists. He is level headed with a calm temperament however, a cool head does little to make up for some serious flaws in his political positions. Mormons have this seriously misguided idea that their faith should and does run in complete agreement with almost all of the Republican party platform. This explains much of hype around why so many Mormons are gravitating towards McMullin. He's not horrific like Trump but he still fits that mold of conservatism that so many Mormons believe in supporting. McMullin may be a more palatable conservative but that does not mean his policies align with actual Mormon values.

Mormon values stress the importance of supporting families, access to education, and an emphasis on hard work. McMullin has no major political positions that will actually improve upon the values that Mormons hold so dearly. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in this presidential race who has spent her whole life fighting for the values Mormons and millions of other Americans believe in. Unlike McMullin, Hillary believes in supporting families by passing laws that guarantee paid family and medical leave. Hillary believes we should trust women when it comes to their healthcare and reproductive rights whereas McMullin believes the government should regulate women's bodies. While McMullin favors investment in charter schools, Hillary believes we need to increase access to public education and provide debt-free college for our young people. Seeking to slash benefits to programs like food stamps and Medicare/Medicaid McMullin aims to decrease the social safety the protects the most vulnerable in our society. On the other hand, Hillary believes in the fundamental idea that if you work hard and play by the rules you should not be living in poverty. Favoring tax breaks for corporations and the most wealthy McMullin believes in an economy that rewards greed and excessive financial gain, whereas Hillary believes in strengthening the middle class and asking that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. When you stack up the issues it's quite easy to see how so many of them fall into the category of issues Hillary has built her political career on advocating for. Mormons should take note of this and look at Hillary Clinton, the one who is actually fighting for Mormon values in this presidential election.