U.S. House Representative Justin Amash of Michigan announced on July 4 that he is leaving the Republican Party. Amash’s decision to leave the GOP is not just a statement about the Republicans; it is a statement about the increasing polarization of the current two-party system and the lack of true representation as a result of extreme partisanship.
“I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it,” wrote Amash in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post. The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
As expected, Donald Trump responded to the news with a disparaging tweet: “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!”
Trump is missing the point of why Justin Amash is leaving the GOP. Not everyone sees politics as simply a game of tactics for election or re-election. Amash is no doubt well aware of what his actions may cost him in the political arena.
On the other hand, in the current political atmosphere where members of both parties seem to automatically oppose anything the other party supports, and where Republicans tend to stick to the party line, no matter how lacking in integrity, perhaps Justin Amash will gain new supporters who join him “in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us,” as he wrote in his op-ed piece.
Speaking more about why he is leaving the GOP, Amash told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Over the years, I’ve seen that people are just falling in line behind the leaders, including people in my own caucus, which I left. …So it has gotten worse and worse and I think this was the term that really broke it for me.” Amash also said that he have left the Republican Party even if Donald Trump weren’t the president.
As a result of Justin Amash’s leaving the GOP, the House now has 235 Democrats, 197 Republicans, and now, one Independent (Amash).
Justin Amash leaves GOP | Click On Detroit Local 4 WDIV [2019-07-04]
Rep. Justin Amash leaving GOP, Trump calls it ‘great news’ | Fox News [2019-07-04]