Justin Amash Did The Right Thing: Nationalism Is Destroying The Republican Party
On July 4th, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District announced he was leaving the Republican Party and becoming an Independent. Making him the only independent in the House and one of three Independents in Congress (the two other Independent’s being Senator Bernie Sanders and Angus King).
Amash has long clashed with the Republican establishment, especially among his fellow “tea party Republicans” that were all elected in 2010. A month earlier, he resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a Tea Party caucus he helped found. Amash is a critic of the military industrial complex, has voted against aid to Israel, has gone after Saudi Arabia for the genocide in Yemen, wants Gerrymandering reform, voted against a resolution supporting ICE, supports the legalization of marijuana, supported the repeal of DOMA, and is against the NSA spying.
This all separates him from the Social Conservatives members of the Republican Party. His support for Free Trade, his police the police stance, his opposition to government regulation of big tech, and his overall pro-free market stance put him at odds with the populist nationalist wing of the Republican Party led by Donald Trump, Josh Hawley, and Tucker Carlson.
In his Washington Post article where he announced his leaving, he mostly talked about the partisan politics of our country. However, careful reading can show that, yes, nationalism is ruining the Republican Party.
My parents, both immigrants, were Republicans. I supported Republican candidates throughout my early adult life and then successfully ran for office as a Republican. 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.
“Both immigrants,” seems like something you’d only note if you were led to this decision through anti-immigrant policies. “[L]imited government, economic freedom and individual liberty,” seems like a potshot on the constant expansions of government supported by Carlson and Hawley.
Both Senator Hawley and President Trump have bit there tongue on this subject (and tongue biting is not normal for either of these people).
Edit: While Trump did not name drop Amash, he did tweet on July 4th:
Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is “quitting” the Party. No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!
This is coming from the man who couldn’t even win the popular vote, something Amash has always done. If he’s a loser, what does that make the President of this country?
Jim Lower — Michigan State Representative and primary opponent for Amash — however, jumped all over this:
It’s clear @justinamash knew he couldn’t beat me in the GOP primary. As usual he’s trying to portray his decision as something other than self serving. I’m looking forward to running with @realDonaldTrump in the fall and beating Amash and the Dem candidate.
Lower is running on being pro-Trump in a state that Donald Trump only won by 10,704 votes. Trump also only got 36.5% of the votes in the Republican Primary in Michigan. So Lower is a complete idiot who is going to lose.
That same year, Amash won by 75,145 votes or 59.5% of the popular vote. Meaning Amash is way more popular to the citizen’s of Michigan than Donald Trump.
Michigan also supported Bill Clinton (44.37% and 51.69%), Al Gore (51.28%), John Kerry (51.2%) and Barack Obama (57.33% and 54.21%). All but Bill Clinton in 1992 did better than Donald Trump did in 2016.
Amash is safe, Trump is the one in real danger. Nationalism had a good few years, but it seems like Trump may be the second George H.W. Bush.