(The following editorial by Evan McMullin was originally published in the USA Today.)
The debate confirmed that these two candidates can’t offer the kind of leadership we need.
The Monday night presidential debate was one more chapter in what I’m calling our third-world election.
A little over six weeks ago, I launched an independent presidential bid because, like so many others, I found the two major-party candidates terribly unsuited to offer the kind of leadership the people of this great nation need. I saw no candidate standing up for the universal ideals that have made this the greatest country on earth. Instead, I saw Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as third-world candidates who will jeopardize the security, prosperity, and even the survival of our republic.
Both Clinton and Trump promote some of the worst instincts in American political life, and they embody the kind of evils that we decry in other nations which lag behind ours in almost every way by decades or more. Doing what they can to avoid scrutiny of their hollow ideas, both candidates hide from the American media and the people, appearing only in carefully controlled settings and with limited interaction. At the debate, Clinton continued to avoid accountability and Trump avoided even basic civility. He presented ideas that were simply wrong, and while she took the attack to him, she proposed the same kind of top-down, central-government “solutions” we’ve seen too many times in the past.