Evan McMullin - Uniting Against Authoritarianism

December 8, 2016 - Evan McMullin & DJ Khaled 12/08/2016 Views: 7,213

Evan McMullin reflects on his 2016 presidential run as an independent conservative and explains why his CIA experience makes him wary of the incoming Trump administration. (5:13)

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Please welcome Evan McMullin.

-(cheering and applause)-Welcome.

-Thank you for being here.-Nice to be here.

-Let's jump straight into it.Real quick, -Sure.

for those who don't know you,I mean,

you were a name and a facethat I wasn't familiar with

during this race.And then when it got really deep

into the election, all of asudden, you came out of nowhere

and you said, "I'm running.I'm a conservative,

and I'm runningto oppose Donald Trump."

-That's right.-Why did that happen?

(chuckles)Well, it happened

because somebody fromthe conservative side needed

to stand up and opposeDonald Trump's bigotry

and his threatto our system, our...

his threat to our democracy.

It couldn'tonly be Hillary Clinton.

Standing upfor the most fundamental ideals

upon which this nationwas founded.

Number one, that all menand women are created equal.

And, number two, that we haveliberty, we have rights

that come from the factthat we're humans,

not from the governmentand not from any leader.

Donald Trump does not dictatewhat our rights are.

Our rights come with uswhen we arrive on Earth here,

and the government's roleis to protect them.

-Now, it's-it's interesting...-(cheering and applause)

It's-it's interestingthat you...

that you use the word "dictate,"

-because we...-(laughter)

No, we-we made a jokeon the show

about Trumpas an African dictator.

-But you workedas a CIA operative, -Mm.

-which I'm assuming means spy.-Mm. Yeah.

Which makes...You look like Jason Bourne

kicked you outof a window somewhere.

Like, you have...No, you've got that look.

-Like, the guy who, like...-Less hair though. Less hair.

-Yeah. -Like, you looklike you blend into a crowd

and you fight with Jason Bourne.Um...

-But-but you've-you've workedall over the world -Yeah.

-for the CIA, and whatreally interested me -Mm-hmm.

is I-I read your op-ed in the...in The New York Times,

where you wrote about the factthat you've seen leaders

-like Trump all over the world.-Mm-hmm.

What does that mean?

Well, yes, I mean,I-I served all over the world,

especially in-in South Asia,in the Middle East, and Africa,

and there I saw authoritarians

and I saw how they operate,what they do.

The-the most important thingto understand

about an authoritarianis that an authoritarian

is uncomfortable with any threatto his or her power.

And that could be the law,that c...

-For example, the Constitution,in our case. -Yes.

That could be other leaders.

It could be other branchesof government.

It could be cultural norms,democratic norms.

It could even be the expectationof consistency

or common decency.

All of those things threaten,

in the mind of an authoritarian,their power.

What they want is for everythingthey say right now,

their latest whim,to be supremely important.

And so, if they undermine ordestroy all of those restraints

or other sources of power,that inflates their power...

-Mm-hmm. -...or growstheir power at our expense.

And so, I see thatin Donald Trump.

I saw that during the campaign.

I certainly see that now,post-election.

So who knowswhat will come next.

This-this is whereI'm confused.

So, I go, Evan,you are a conservative.

you are running for president.

I go: Help meand my viewers understand

the difference betweena principled conservative

and Donald Trump.So I go: So with regards to,

let's say, a ban on Muslims,

-Mm-hmm.-what is your view on that?

Well, it's absolutelycounterproductive

and runs counter to everythingwe should believe in

in this country, our found...our foundational principles.

I've opposed that publiclyover and over again.

So with regards to, let's say,uh, climate change,

because, I mean...the official stance now

of... you know, Donald Trumpand his administration

is that this is, they said"a load of bunk," I believe,

-Mm-hmm.-and it does not exist.

Is thata conservative standpoint

or is that Donald Trump thing?

Well, a lot of Republicanshold that view; I don't.

I think the climate is changing.

I think we are contributingto that,

and I think we need to takeaction in response to it.

-And we can debate howto do that. -Yes.

But, but, yes.But, you know what?

I think there's something-- Imean that's an important issue,

-don't get me wrong.-Yeah.

But we've got to fightfor liberty

and equality in this country.

We can debate these kindsof things,

which are important,don't get me wrong.

We have so many importantchallenges in this country.

But there's a real opportunityfor those of us on the right,

and the leftwho are still standing

for the truth that all menand women are created equal,

regardless of the colorof their skin,

or their faith, or their gender.

Those of us who are stillstanding for that,

and standing for liberty,for our basic freedoms,

we need to stand togetherright now,

because we have a presidentcoming into the White House,

who may be an authoritarian.

Now, let's see what happens whenhe actually gets there,

-but every data point we'veseen so far, -Yes.

essentially suggests thathe will be an authoritarian.

Let's unite.

We will have thesepolitical debates

on these other issues.

They're important,don't get me wrong.

But this is, this is a differentkind of moment here, I fear.

You know what it sounds likeyou're saying?

Like, when you watch Independence Day,

and those movies,and the people are like,

"I know we have our differences,but the aliens are coming.

"And right now we can all agree

that the aliensare gonna kill us all."

-That's what, that's what...-I hope it's not that bad.

That's pretty muchwhat it sounds like.

But you know what?I-I would love

-to have you back on the show.-Yeah.

I'm sure we won't agreeon everything.

But I'm glad you came on,

-and I appreciate your voice.-Thank you.

-Thank you very much.-Pleasure. Likewise.

Evan McMullin, everybody