Opinion: Still undecided on your vote for U.S. Senate? I believe Evan McMullin is your best bet
Evan McMullin represents bipartisan, collaborative leadership that our nation desperately needs in this divided time
If you’re still an undecided Utah voter for the U.S. Senate, I’d like to provide reasons (beyond the many you’ve likely already heard) to choose Evan McMullin for U.S. Senate.
After a 30-year political career — growing up Republican, becoming a Democrat and serving the Utah House of Representatives, and winning two nonpartisan elections as Salt Lake City mayor — I have seen politics from the inside and outside, both in Utah and nationally. I share McMullin’s opinion, which mirrors that of a majority of Utahns, that our political system is broken, and we are failing to meet the major challenges of our time.
While most elected officials have good intentions, too many are trapped in extreme partisan loyalties — harming the democratic process and failing to deliver solutions to communities, states and the country. In Utah, hyper partisanship has been a concern among voters for many years, contributing to apathy and a decline in voter turnout.
McMullin offers a “new politics” focused on principle, inclusion and finding common ground to solve problems.
Our country has been locked in a two-party system since its beginning. Occasionally, independents like Sen. Angus King Jr. of Maine break through and govern largely outside the confines of party politics. But King is a rare exception. Most elected officials can win office without ever having to communicate outside of their own party. They don’t need to be respectful of broader views and ideas to get elected. We need our government to work in a bipartisan way to effectively govern.
I have had the opportunity to meet with McMullin, and I have closely followed his campaign. While I don’t agree with him on every issue, we share a belief in collaborative governance and a disdain for extreme partisanship. He cares deeply about Utah and our country and is laser-focused on finding workable solutions to our biggest challenges. McMullin is a person of integrity and empathy, is attuned to the most important issues facing us today, and he’s committed to the highest ideals of our Constitution and our democracy.
We need to break the national gridlock that’s paralyzing our nation. Utah can, and should, play a leading role — as it has on other issues of national importance. We’ve seen Utah act that way around a series of compacts that outline sound principles on immigration, racial equity, diversity and inclusion, air quality and climate change.
I believe McMullin can help show the way in our fractured national government. With an evenly divided U.S. Senate, both parties will need and want his vote. As an independent, he can evaluate what is best for Utah and the nation and play an important role in shaping our nation’s policies and budget.
A vote for McMullin will be a vote for better, more inclusive leadership, an end to bitter partisanship and a long overdue opportunity to show America and the world that our democratic system can function in ways that truly meet the needs of our citizens.
Ralph Becker is a former mayor of Salt Lake City.