Dear Mr. President-Elect,
I met you in the Spring of 2015. I was working on the floor of the Iowa State House, and you came to have meetings with the Republicans in the House and Senate. I sat quietly among our state’s legislators while I listened to you talk about the problems facing America.
Listening to you speak, I didn’t really take you seriously or think of you as a potential President. You hadn’t announced your bid in this election, but it was clear that you were intending to do so. I was so focused on your hand gestures, the reputation you had gained as a celebrity, and honestly, your hair to really think hard about the policy and economic opinions you were throwing at us.
I wish I had.
You announced your bid a couple months following this. As I was covering the campaign trail in Des Moines, I heard you speak on multiple occasions. First, I listened as you insulted all Prisoners of War at a summit when you degraded the sacrifice Senator John McCain made for his country. Later, I stood there as you landed your helicopter, and gathered a small herd of children around as nice background props for a speech. I was growing less and less impressed, but again, I didn’t take you seriously, and I figured the American people wouldn’t either.
A week later, I was at the Iowa State Fair. As the first state in the nation when primaries kick off, candidates flock to the fair, and immense amounts of polling take place. Just for fun, I went to go view some polling numbers…and you were shockingly in first place…by a very large margin. I didn’t understand, but then again, it was early on in the race and no candidate had established themselves at that point.
In October 2015, I stepped onto the Ted Cruz campaign as his Iowa State Director for the
Millennials for Cruz Coalition. Senator Cruz is a fine, upright man, and I loved representing him for the duration of his campaign. We made great strides, and the day we won the Iowa Caucus will be forever emblazoned in my mind. Victory tasted sweet, and I loved that we had started off primaries with a win.
Throughout my months with the campaign, I watched and listened as you viciously attacked not only Senator Cruz, but his entire family. I listened to vile things come out of your mouth. I watched how your campaign ran, and I found myself absolutely disgusted with you.
May 3rd of this year was a hard day. After months of campaigning, Senator Cruz officially left the race, and I found myself in a moral dilemma. After months of being disgusted with and criticizing your campaign, months of sticking with a moral Constitutionalist, could I put all that behind me, violate my conscience, and vote for you? I prayed about this for weeks, months. As many of the people I run in political circles with did a 180 and started zealously praising and backing you, I found myself becoming more and more convicted. Finally, I made a choice.
There was no way that I could ignore my conscience and vote for you.
Mr. Trump, I definitely think that you were the lesser of two evils in this race. However, as 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.” You may have been the lesser of two evils, but I still disagreed with so much of your campaign and lifestyle that it would have been a violation of my conscience to vote for you.
So, I voted for Evan McMullin for President of the United States. I knew that he wouldn’t
win, but I also knew that by voting for him, I would not be in violation of my own conscience and that I would have the freedom to criticize you if you made it into office, as I would not be responsible for putting you there.
When election results rolled in Tuesday night, I couldn’t look away from the screen. I stayed on the phone with a close friend for hours as we anxiously watched results roll in. What we witnessed was historic.
You, an outsider, swept the country by storm.
You see, when it came down to it, I couldn’t violate my conscience by voting for you. Yet, I still needed you to win instead of Hillary, a corrupt, immoral career politician. This election wasn’t ultimately about you or her, Republican versus Democrat. This election was about the elite versus the outsiders. The country went bright red this election cycle, and the voter turnout you created is partially to thank for that fact.
So, we come to this, you as the new President-Elect. I never wanted you in this position, and fought for months to keep you from it. Yet, I am an American, and you are now my President. I want you to succeed, I want you to surround yourself with wise people, and I want you to work with a red Congress to get things done. Wanting to see you fail would be like being a passenger on the Titanic, hoping for an iceberg.
My hope is in Jesus, not you. However, I am cheering for you and wishing for your success. Even as I do this, remember this one thing: I did not vote for you, I am not responsible for your position, and therefore, I will freely criticize and call for your accountability if you are to mess up.
You are our figurehead now. Come January, hold to your promises, and help lead America to restored greatness. The world watches, and we are waiting.