Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin said Oct. 28 that “The Republican party, along with the Democratic party, has become bound to the past … in ways that are detrimental and harmful to our future.”
McMullin and his running mate, Mindy Finn, shared their political vision with the public in the Shepherd Union Ballroom at noon on Oct. 27, proposing “a new era of civic engagement” where Americans can truly elect their candidates instead of feeling like they’re chosen by the elites.
“I believe the time has come for major disruption — in a positive way — of our political system,” said McMullin.
An estimated 400 attendees found a seat or stood shoulder-to-shoulder along the walls. McMullin and Finn appeared 10 minutes after the hour through a side door to applause.
McMullin, a former CIA counterterrorism and intelligence operative, compared Trump’s tactics to those of Middle Eastern dictators. Like them, Trump undermines press freedom, has no respect for minorities and incites the populace to fight among each other.
As a communications and legal assistant on Capitol Hill, Finn said she couldn’t bring herself to support Trump.
“I had a fear that if it did not change it’s tone and attitude and be more inclusive, it would continue to lose more women in this country,” Finn said of the Republican Party, “and this fear turned into a nightmare with Donald Trump.”
She also suggested that Trump was nominated so that Clinton could seem like the better option by comparison. Finn told the audience, “Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are not entitled to your vote.” Her words were met with a standing ovation.
McMullin and Finn shared how they started their now three-month campaign. Starting in August, McMullin volunteered to run for president when Better for America — a nonprofit committed to putting an independent candidate on the nationwide ballot — found that no one else was willing.
McMullin found a political partner in Finn, one of Washingtonian’s 100 “Tech Titans” and the founder of Empowered Women, who was also offended that Trump called himself a conservative.
“A true conservative will stand up and fight for another person when they see that person is being attacked for who they are — for their gender, for their race, for their religion,” McMullin said. “A true conservative will re-embrace the cause of liberty, not to commit themselves to the interests of big corporations…”
The remainder of the event took the form of a Q&A. Individuals asked McMullin and Finn about their environmental policy, combating Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ISIS, regulating the government’s access to metadata, upholding LGBT rights and their pro-life status.
According to Finn, their campaign appealed to young voters who were disappointed in the current political system, remarking that she’s been asked, “I’ve been waiting my entire life to vote, and these are the options?”
Both McMullin and Finn are confident that their campaign is what Americans need.
“This has become a truly rapturous movement,” McMullin said. “It has become something that I believe sparks what’s required of this country — what’s required of this country’s future…”