“We’ve come to a time when our democracy, Constitution and basic rights are in jeopardy,” McMullin, a 40-year-old with ties to Utah, said in a statement announcing the organization, Stand Up Republic.
He said the challenges faced now “can only be overcome by a new era of civic engagement, in which Americans are more vigilant, informed and engaged in the defense of our democracy.”
That defense “will necessarily include standing up to the Trump administration when warranted,” McMullin said, part of advancing “the timeless truths upon which our nation was founded.”
The former CIA officer and Republican congressional aide won 21.5 percent of the vote in Utah last year running as a conservative alternative to now-President Donald Trump, finishing third behind the GOP candidate and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Even though he didn’t get in the race until August 2016, by fall McMullin, a Mormon, was attracting national attention when he moved within striking distance of Trump and Clinton in polling in Utah, putting the usually Republican state up for grabs.
McMullin and Finn said then they were in the race not just to win but also to create a new conservative movement in the wake of Trump’s troubles with voters in Utah and elsewhere over his own graphic statements about women and other issues.
“We are highly skeptical that the Republican Party will be able to make the reforms it needs to make in order to be a politically viable vehicle to the conservative movement,” McMullin told the Deseret News and KSL editorial boards in October. You think?
Tim Chambless, a U. political science professor, said McMullin may benefit from frustration with the new administration from the right and the left because Stand Up Republic will be seen as anti-Trump.
He said McMullin’s organization may even hold some appeal to participants in the recent women’s marches, including a demonstration that brought thousands to the state Capitol on the opening day of the 2017 Legislature Monday.
Trump is “a lightning rod. He has motivated people who would not ordinarily be involved in politics,” Chambless said. “I think Donald Trump feeds it almost
Our country swings like a pendulum. Luckily, this Trump-era will too pass. And thankfully he has put a spotlight on the racists we all knew existed, and they cannot return to their closet when he’s left office in disgrace.