America’s problem isn’t Donald Trump.

Every generation has those who crave power and glory at the expense of those they seek to conquer. Every generation must protect its liberty. The founding fathers understood this. America’s successful republic has been preserved by constitutional checks and balances constraining those who would be kings. Elected representatives of Congress are responsible for enforcing those constraints.

Therein lies our problem. Those we trusted to protect our freedom — the frontline defense of our liberty — have failed miserably.

With a few notable exceptions, the U.S. Senate, most recently Mike Lee and Senate Republicans, not only failed to constrain, they enabled, defended and personally benefited from the power grab. They knew better. We gave them our authority to do better. We trusted them to do better. But they chose otherwise. The front line failed and now it falls to us the voters, the last defense — with the courage and commitment to personal liberty for ourselves, and those who may disagree with us.

Opinion: Do you care about character in politics? Look no further than Evan McMullin

Americans have been given a false choice. Those who would divide us claim our only choices are socialism’s dole, or a dictator’s oppression. Somewhere along the line, too many of us bought into the idea that freedom is a zero sum game: that we gain liberty only when another loses liberty. But, just the opposite is true: I am only as free as my neighbor.  It concerns me to see America’s Republican party consumed by fear, anger, and revenge; and unless we stop it, it will turn our republic into something else, controlled by fear, anger, and revenge. 

We are better than this; our grandchildren deserve better than this.

Utahns who reject this cynical vision for our future are joining outside the two parties to restore truth and accountability. This movement is personified by Evan McMullin who is running to represent Utah in the U.S. Senate. He is backed by fair-minded Utahns who no longer accept the parties’ options. Evan brings experience, integrity and an ability to find solutions to the tough issues facing America today — the issues exploited by the two parties to scare, divide and manipulate those they are supposed to represent.

Opinion: Why I believe Evan McMullin can break our ‘two-party doom loop’

This campaign isn’t about McMullin, or loyalty to an individual. This is about our country, our freedom and opportunities for all. This is about preserving the 246-year legacy of American freedom for our children and grandchildren that our parents and grandparents left to us. McMullin and this movement know that our loyalty is owed to the country, not to a party or an individual. This is about electing someone to represent us that doesn’t embarrass us, someone we don’t have to apologize for. This won’t happen by default. We have to make it happen.

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The last several years remind us of the vital role of integrity in our elected representatives and that we can’t take that for granted. Today’s Republican Party promotes and enables tactics and policies that just a few years ago would have never been tolerated. And they expect us to support their “ends justify the means” mentality, when in fact, their means destroy the end.

We have to give up our liberty to be free? Is America really great when we are ruled with rage, fear, intimidation, childish name-calling, revenge, manipulation and hypocrisy? Those are the tactics of organized crime, drug kingpins and tyrants. This is not my United States of America. You know better, I know better, and Lee knows better. But we have a problem!

What Mike Lee, Evan McMullin said about themselves and each other after their debate

We have a problem when parties choose their candidate for their loyalty to the party and their fealty to a man while at the same time destroying their own who won’t sacrifice their integrity to the party. If you have to sacrifice your integrity to win, what have you won? Those of us who have been “plugging our noses” at the unacceptable options offered by the two major parties finally have an option representing our values! Please join me this November in voting for Evan McMullin.

Lee Brinton is a lifelong Republican, an electrical engineer, father and grandfather. He was a Republican candidate for the Utah Senate in 2010. He lives in Murray.

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