Three cheers for Justin Amash!
Amash chose today, Independence Day, to make another bold stand for principle – something woefully lacking in current day politics.
In an op-ed with the Washington Post, the Michigan congressman announced he was leaving the party of Trump.
“Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party,” Amash wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday morning. “No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”
Sir, I’ve been waiting for you to catch up!
If you’ve been paying attention, you know this discontent is not a new thing for Representative Amash. He’s been boldly calling out his own party and the leadership of that party for some time.
Back in May, he rocked the foundations of the right by daring to be completely honest and open about the content of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as what it said about the efforts of President Trump to obstruct that investigation.
He called out Trump’s handpicked “fixer” at the Department of Justice, Attorney General William Barr, for his efforts to conceal and misrepresent the findings of Mueller’s team.
And yes, folks. He was correct. William Barr was chosen specifically for the purpose of concealing the actual findings of the Mueller report. He applied for the job months prior, with an unsolicited letter to the Department of Justice, detailing ways to hamstring Robert Mueller’s work.
Amash saw this clearly, but rather than rush to that conclusion, he took over a month to actually read the report, in full, then applied his knowledge of the law.
At that time, he stated that Trump’s actions during the investigation “met the threshold” of impeachable offenses.
No, he didn’t call specifically for Donald Trump’s impeachment, as has been widely reported. He simply stated the evidence present within the report.
Few within the Republican Party showed such initiative or dedication to protecting our republic.
In today’s op-ed, he masterfully expressed his disappointment in the failures of the Republican Party to live up to their stated platform.
“The Republican Party, I believed, stood for limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty — principles that had made the American Dream possible for my family,” he wrote. “In recent years, though, I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it. The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
He also pointed to George Washington’s farewell address, in which the first US President warned Americans of the dangers of partisanship.
“True to Washington’s fears, Americans have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law,” Amash said. “The result has been the consolidation of political power and the near disintegration of representative democracy.”
Of course, we know the Trump Republicans will ignore Amash’s firm conservative voting record and will automatically call him a “liberal” or their favorite, misunderstood moniker: RiNO (9 out of 10 of those comments will refer to him as a 3-toed, horned herbivore).
This isn’t the first time in recent months that Justin Amash has made a bold stand on principle.
Last month, he stepped away from the group he helped found, the House Freedom Caucus.
The HFC was meant to be a group of staunch conservative lawmakers, fighting for smaller government and those ideals that uphold the nation’s Constitution.
In the age of Trump, they’ve devolved into a sniveling group of Trump apologists and toadies.
Amash was out of place.
So what now?
There has been a slow but steady swell of calls for Amash to run as a third party alternative for those disgusted by Trumpism, as well as the radical, anti-American, big government socialism being spewed from the bowels of the left.
“Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties,” he said. “Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense.”
Every. Last. Drop. Of. This.
Amash has always been more Libertarian in his leanings, preferring a cautious hands-off approach to many of the issues that both Republicans and Democrats grapple with.
States rights, people. Read that Tenth Amendment.
Also, his foreign policy stances, particularly in regards to Israel, cause some conservatives to hesitate.
Amash has made the point that no one knows how to protect Israel better than Israel. With the United States holding them on a leash, pushing for a two-state peace plan, how limited in their responses to attacks has the nation been?
I get it. I have a lingering reticence to stepping away from Israel, as well, but I also know what the Bible says about Israel. The United States has never been their salvation, nor will we be their future saviors.
So can we look for another announcement from Amash in the near future?
He told CNN in March that he never stops thinking about such possibilities “because there is a big problem with the current two-party system we have, and someone has to shake it up.”
“Now, is it possible for anyone to shake it up and make a difference?” he asked at the time. “I don’t know.”
For Amash to make that move, by Michigan law, he would give up his right to run for reelection to his current seat in Congress in 2020.
Is it worth the risk?
I’m saying, for the good of us all, yes. Yes it is.