The most exciting addition to an election cycle unsurpassed in strangeness is the recent “David and Goliath” entry of independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin. Mr. McMullin squares off against not one, but two Goliaths, both outsized opponents on the political stage. The parallels between Mr. McMullin’s candidacy and the Bible narrative are uncanny, fascinating and worth considering.
David forged his character in the fields, honing skills in defense of his father’s flocks that would later prove precisely suited to saving his people. In the process he sharpened his wits, courage and intellect. Those qualities and his utter lack of guile are what David brought to the battlefield against the most powerful enemy the Israelites had ever faced.
Evan McMullin proved his character in the field of national defense, gaining expertise directly against individuals and organizations that would destroy our way of life, precisely the skills needed to fight one of the toughest enemies we’ve ever faced: terrorism. Like David, Evan McMullin gained wisdom and courage through his service and similarly brings humility to the political arena, a refreshing change from the posturing of the two leading candidates.
David did not seek to fight Goliath. In fact he questioned why no soldier in Israel was willing to come forth and take up the challenge. Evan McMullin has not sought the presidency, but after months of encouraging greater political soldiers to step up and face the giants, he has decided that he loves his country more than himself and will give his all to protect it. Past great presidents have taken office based on similar motivation.
David declined heavy armor as he made his way to the battlefield, taking only a few trusted weapons, a few small stones and his personal worthiness as his assurance of victory. He was probably well aware that no one, including his brothers, believed he would prevail. Evan McMullin enters the contest with little in the way of conventional resources, just his integrity, impressive intellect and some 90,000+ volunteers. He also seems undaunted that no-one sees a victory for his candidacy. Perhaps, like David, he knows better.
Both leading candidates parallel Goliath, having developed their character at the table of privilege, arrogance and corruption. The current giants come out to battle fully loaded with financial and political armor and weapons, and every possible advantage the current political system has to offer. Are Americans ready for history to repeat itself and let one honest, guileless defender of right prevail against such odds?
It turns out that character triumphed over experience as David went on to become the greatest king Israel ever had, successfully uniting all of his people for the first time. If ever there was a need for another defender to come lead our people back to the values of our founders/fathers, now is that time. Before we write-off Evan McMullin as a lightweight, we would do well to look carefully at his character and preparation and ask ourselves who we want to stand with, David or Goliath?
Rose Wilson lives and thinks in Provo.