Evan McMullin took the stage in a concert venue filled with a few dozen people, vowing to be a check to what he said would probably be a President Trump. McMullin, who ran as a third-party candidate, believes that he is starting to build a conservative check to the current establishment.
“Tonight there are millions of Americans, I am sad to say, who are in fear that perhaps their liberties will be challenged and threatened under a Trump administration,” McMullin said to dozens of supporters holding flags with light-up handles. “This is why a new conservative movement is necessary. And we will not turn our back on this challenge.”
He added, “We are not going away.”
He also took swipes at Republican leadership for not standing up to Trump.
“No longer can we stand by and passively hope our leaders will stand up for our rights, stand up for women, people of different races and religions, stand up for people with disabilities. We can no longer do it,” he said.
His supporters, many of them glued to their phones and TVs showing CNN, were frightened and dismayed at the prospect of a Trump presidency. They don’t believe that their votes siphoned ones away from Clinton but rather that Republicans are too in lockstep with the party and are afraid to leave.
“I just want to wake up in the morning and have this all gone,” said Colleen Dick, 74. “This country is a lot angrier than I thought it was.”
McMullin, she said, was principled, which is the reason she voted for him. She teared up when she thought about Trump as president. “As a woman, when I look at Donald Trump, ugh. I feel unsafe now in my own country because I feel like he emboldens the worst in men. I don’t know. It’s a sad thing,” she said.
Jacob Kearl, 39, said he is concerned about a Trump presidency.
“I’m afraid of the people his campaign has activated. The discrimination, racism, I just think it’s a slippery slope. I’m afraid it will set us back 50 years,” he said.
Carl Houghton, 48, of Layton, Utah, said McMullin was an antidote to two candidates he believes were unfit for office. But the prospect of a Trump presidency is “a little frightening” because of his temperament, he said. It also shows massive fissures in the country, he said.
“Rural America is just completely not being paid attention to,” he said. “I feel the polarization doesn’t bode well.”