John Quincy Adams once said, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” This piece of advice has never rung more true within my lifetime as it does in this current election cycle. Immorality and corruption have become the norm of both major parties. The degradation of America is evident.

Upon Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign ending, I was extremely torn. Donald Trump was crass, disgusting, and inconsistent. Could I dare to support him to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming the leader of the greatest country in the history of the world? Would I be able to sacrifice parts of my conscience in order to do so?

For about a month, although I did not speak about the struggle frequently, I was in a wrestling match within my own brain. I was torn between my conscience and my country. Pressure from all sides rained down, and I had no clue as to what I would do. However, on matters pertaining to this glorious country, I have found it valuable to look to great leaders our nation has known. President Theodore Roosevelt once said,

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country.”

Never in my wildest dreams would I vote for Hillary Clinton, a woman who should be currently locked within the depths of our prison system for the crimes and negligence she is solely responsible for. However, I was under much pressure to vote for Donald Trump because he was considered ‘the lesser of two evils’. Trump, through his actions, his records, his carelessness, and his discrepancies has, however, proved himself unfit for the presidency. Going by the standard of President Roosevelt’s words, it would be unpatriotic of me NOT to oppose someone who would be inefficient and a failure in their duty to this country.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.” I refuse to sin by silence. A ‘lesser evil’ (as if there were such a thing) is still evil, and to support evil is to ignore conscience; Trump and Clinton reign supreme as corrupt and immoral candidates, and I refuse to ignore my conscience and vote for either of them in order to choose the ‘lesser’ evil. I will not cast a vote based out of fear.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion of which candidate is worthy of my support. It is not Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton; it is not even Gary Johnson, who is a fraudulent Libertarian. This election cycle, I will be casting a vote for Evan McMullin, a principled conservative who is running as an Independent. McMullin is former CIA, a former senior advisor to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and went on to become the chief policy director of the House Republican Conference. He is principled, qualified, and consistent-exactly what our country needs.

Declaring his bid for President of the United States, McMullin said,

“In a year where Americans have lost faith in the candidates of both major parties, it’s time for a generation of new leadership to step up. It’s never too late to do the right thing, and America deserves much better than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton can offer us. I humbly offer myself as a leader who can give millions of disaffected Americans a better choice for President.”

We as Americans must stand up to tyrannical and corrupt political options, NOT simply try to choose the ‘least evil option’. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” Let us be well-armed and in pursuit of liberty in order to resist would-be tyrants. We alone are responsible for our moral actions when it comes to electing our nation’s leaders, and we must share the same sentiment of Thomas Jefferson: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

I urge you to vote Evan McMullin for President. Refuse to bow to the two-party system and compromise your conscience.

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