I saw the story about Evan McMullin on The Young Turks just an hour ago. Interesting, and not entirely unexpected. It makes sense for many establishment Republicans to do so.
The question is how many of them will choose to vote for him. Oh, sure, the establishment will be happy to throw up a candidate - but as the GOP field earlier this cycle showed us, you can have a million candidates, but in the end it simply comes down to who do you vote for
I suspect you won't get many people voting for McMullin, even if he could have gotten on the ballot in all 50 states. You'll never get the Trump voters to go for anyone else, and all the rest of the GOP is running scared of the idea that Clinton will get to stack SCOTUS with left-wing justices who will 'force their views down decent American's throats.' (Though, to be fair, that fear is on both sides.) They know to be divided is to lose, and that they can't budge the Trumpeters, so they'll stick with him and just hope he's a useful idiot.
An informed electorate is necessary to the functioning of our government, by being able to separate the bullshit from the truth. Skepticism isn't exactly looked on in glowing terms by many in the U.S., particularly in the way many religions are conducted and taught here. After all, what would you expect from a country with so many people who don't accept evolution or the actual age of the Earth?
Adherence to one specific view vis a vis how life developed or a number that we tack on to describe the number of birthdays one specific planet has had is not required in order to be an intelligent adult capable of critical thinking. People are allowed to believe wrong things - and often do.
Today, the germ theory - that disease is caused by bacteria and viruses - is quite accepted in not just the scientific community but at large. What isn't widely known is that the idea was first formally proposed by Girolamo Fracastoro...in 1546
. It would not become the accepted theory until the work of Pasteur and Robert Koch in the latter half of the 19th century - over 300 years later. And keep in mind that this was well over 200 years after van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope, and therefore the discovery of cells.
Natural selection as evolution - as proposed by Darwin in the 1870s - did not build a consensus as the
method for development of life until the 1930s-1950s; and radioactive carbon dating - the means by which we measure the Earth's age - was not developed until the 1940s, and not widely in use until the 60s. These are new (relatively) things, acceptance takes time.
And even so, there are still problems, things that remain unexplained by science.
In short, science should not be set against religion
. The longer we perpetuate this idea of religious persons as insensibles who refuse to accept a stated view regarding the origins of the planet and life (simply because it is right does not mean anything! The abolitionists were right in that slavery was wrong, but they were derided at nearly every turn for their standpoint until they actually won!), the longer it will take to actually win, because insulting people's intelligence is an excellent
way of convincing them of the validity of your argument.
What is interesting is how many Trump supporters aren't actively religious. They aren't being gullible due to religion, but...they're gullible nonetheless. I think that, perhaps, our mass media culture has more to do with it.
Look at the breakdown of Trump supporters - most of them are white, who have had the unfortunate experience of being badgered and hectored and told that they're the cause of all society's problems, that they enjoy 'white privilege' when that hasn't been their experience, and the general rise of political correctness, and you end up with a massive breeding ground for resentment.
Everything today is about individual life experience, yeah? Then consider that these people, in adhering to Trump, are saying that 'what this man is saying resonates most firmly with my life experience.'
Which is the danger of allowing things like 'life experience' or emotion to be the driving forces for a society - and this goes across the whole spectrum. We expel fact and adherence to logic and reason from the marketplace of ideas, and what we have left is nothing but hogwash.