Finding a Middle Ground
Trinity alumnus Scott Cubbler is a write-in candidate for the 2016 presidential election
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Scott Cubbler in front of Trinity's fountain

Scott Cubbler ’88 is running for President of the United States of America. He is not trying to win the election.

Cubbler is campaigning as an unaffiliated write-in candidate. His goal is to prevent either Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, or Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, from capturing the 270 electoral votes required to secure the White House. By winning a few key states, Cubbler hopes to force Congress into a special session outlined in the Constitution’s Twelfth Amendment that would give each state a single vote.

“We need integrity from our political leaders,” Cubbler says. “They should be setting the standard for everything, not constant scandal after scandal after scandal. The election should not be about them. It should be about us.”

If you are attempting to recall TV footage of Cubbler on the campaign trail shaking hands, or lobbying to appear in the next presidential debate, don’t worry. You have not missed it. Cubbler is running a purely digital campaign and has not held any campaign stops. Instead, he is relying exclusively on the Internet and various social media platforms, including TwitterFacebook, and YouTube, to spread his message.

screenshots of cubbler's twitter and facebook pages


A former accountant, U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer, and protective security adviser for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cubbler believes he has lived a life committed to public service. He considers himself a patriot. Eschewing the traditional two-party system, Cubbler says America’s future is not blue, nor red, but purple.

“My desire is to find a middle ground where we can have reasonable, practical, and positive solutions for whatever issue we are talking about,” Cubbler says. “Red and blue create purple. How can we collaborate and bring the different sides together? Everybody does not have to get their way, but everybody deserves an opportunity to be heard.”

Bringing his hands together, Cubbler links his fingers together and clasps tightly. Methodically, he pumps his hands a few times. A purple tie and bracelet reinforces his message. He sits relaxed in his chair in a blue pinstriped suit. His gaze is strong, yet amiable. He is quick to laugh.

He fixedly points out flaws in America’s political system and decries both the tone and nature of the 2016 presidential election. In his opinion, the environment is toxically contentious. The voter has become an afterthought. Cubbler says his January 2016 decision to declare his candidacy was a long time coming, a “life passion” that has been cultivated since he was 15 years old. He talks about the people who have thanked him for his courage to run and the connections he has rekindled during his campaign. Although he expected the opposite, Cubbler says people have been supportive and kind.

“Running for president has already been worthwhile,” Cubbler says. “It is humbling. By and large, I have had so many people who have stepped up and said, ‘This is fantastic that you are willing to serve in this way.’”

Yet Cubbler, a double major in business administration and computer science, admits that the campaign has been a sacrifice for his family. He resigned his job to run full-time. Although his wife knew “this was going to happen before we ever got married,” his children took slightly more convincing.

Cubbler runs his campaign with a small staff based out of an office in Houston. Top concerns in his campaign include economic development, immigration, the health care industry, international trade, and education, yet the most important topic for Cubbler is cyber security. Cubbler believes the most fervent danger to the U.S. is cyber security, a threat that is not yet fully understood in scope or nature. He says he has the background experience to understand the tools being utilized by America’s enemies. In his seven years at Homeland Security, Cubbler worked to maintain the physical security of water, electricity, gas, bridges, cell phone and cable systems, as well as the security of stadiums and special events. At the baseline level, Cubbler worked with parties who owned and operated critical infrastructure and made it more secure.

As a retired Marine, Cubbler considers himself especially qualified to understand the threats that Americans face.

“In my mind, if you are going to be the Commander-in-Chief, military experience is one of the things you need to effectively employ troops, and to understand that you are sending men and women into dire straits with some severe consequences,” Cubbler says. “The use of the military is a very serious matter.”

Although the likelihood of Cubbler becoming president is slim, he is also serious about his plan to thwart Clinton and Trump. Watching the presidential debates, Cubbler is aghast at the lack of civility that the candidates have shown one another. Gone, he says, is the decorum of the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates.

“The current environment of constantly berating each other is not becoming to any of us,” Cubbler says. “I did not get into this campaign as a game. I get the fact that this is audacious, but it is possible. If enough folks grab onto what I am trying to do, we can make this happen. Let us take the election back into our hands, instead of leaving it to parties that are just going to tell us what to do.”

The views expressed in this article are the views of the candidate and not of Trinity University. The University does not endorse or oppose any candidate in connection with this or any other political campaign or election.

Carlos Anchondo '14 is an oil and gas reporter for E&E News, based in Washington D.C. A communication and international studies major at Trinity, he received his master's degree in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

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