Politics

This Presidential Candidate Has Some Simple Advice for Life Under Trump

December 5th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

In a Sunday evening Twitter thread, former CIA agent and independent conservative presidential candidate Evan McMullin shared a list of 10 things Americans can do if President-elect Donald Trump governs with the authoritarianism on display in his campaign rhetoric.

McMullin advised Americans to educate themselves about their rights, and to consume and legitimate sources of information.

He stressed the importance of paying diligent attention to the actions and statements of the president-elect and his administration, and urged readers to speak up and hold their representatives accountable.

It will be crucial to stick together, reach across the aisle, and organize at a grassroots level in the coming years, McMullin said.

McMullin also penned a Monday New York Times Op-Ed on Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric and the threat he poses to the constitution.

In the piece, McMullin describes a private meeting between Trump and House Republicans that he attended as chief policy director of the House Republican Conference. In the meeting, it became evident that Trump had scant knowledge of the constitution, McMullin claims.

Evan McMullin

But Trump's lack of knowledge of the government's documents is only part of the problem. The greater issue lies in the "authoritarian tendencies" evidenced by Trump's campaign rhetoric, McMullin wrote.

McMullin cites Trump's threats to press freedom, pledge to use torture, and attacks on Muslim Americans and other groups in the piece.

During the campaign, "He had also undermined critical democratic norms including peaceful debate and transitions of power, commitment to truth, freedom from foreign interference and abstention from the use of executive power for political retribution," McMullin asserts.

Trump's attacks on Americans' constitutional rights haven't stopped since the election.

From the Times piece:

“Mr. Trump also recently inflated his election performance, claiming — without evidence — that he ‘won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.’ This, too, is nothing new. Authoritarians often exaggerate their popular support to increase the perception of their legitimacy. But the deeper objective is to weaken the democratic institutions that limit their power. Eroding confidence in voting, elections and representative bodies gives them a freer hand to wield more power.

"As a C.I.A. officer, I saw firsthand authoritarians’ use of these tactics around the world. Their profound appetite for absolute power drives their intolerance for any restraint — whether by people, organizations, the law, cultural norms, principles or even the expectation of consistency. For a despot, all of these checks on power must be ignored, undermined or destroyed so that he is all that matters.”

In a final tweet, McMullin offered words from former President Abraham Lincoln.