Why Rep. Justin Amash is Leaving the GOP

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]

GOP Strategist Steve Schmidt Leaves the Republican Party

While Donald Trump’s supporters adamantly argue in defense of whatever Trump does, says, and is, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, a key member of the Republican party, has said “Enough.” Schmidt helped run George W. Bush’s presidential campaign and managed John McCain’s run for president in 2008. He also helped get two GOP judges, Samuel Alito and John Roberts, onto the Supreme Court. But Steve Schmidt resigned from the Republican party last week, saying, “I’ll have no part in it.”

Steve Schmidt sees Donald Trump as destructive to not only the Republican party, but, if left unchecked, to the democracy this country has enjoyed. Steve Schmidt has compared Trump’s policies to those of the Nazi party. Schmidt’s main concern, however, according to Time Magazine, is not Trump himself, but “the failure of Republican leaders to stand up to him.”

“What destroyed the Republican Party isn’t Trump,” said Schmidt. “It’s the obedience to Trump from servile leaders like McConnell and Ryan who could have put a check on him. They have gotten their place in political history. They’ll be remembered as vile.”

Trump supporters frequently accuse those who didn’t vote for him of “whining” because they didn’t “get their way” in the 2016 presidential election. But one only has to look at the resignations and deep discord within the Republican party to know that there’s more to it than just “whining.”

Steve Schmidt’s disdain toward Donald Trump and his administration began during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and has grown since Trump was elected. Among Schmidt’s reasons for finally leaving the Republican party are its position on same-sex marriage, and Trump’s praise for Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea. The final straw, however, was the Trump Administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that called for full prosecution and jail for those trying to cross the U.S. border from Mexico, and thus separating young children from their parents.

For the near future, Steve Schmidt says he’ll be voting for Democrats. Though he doesn’t fully align with the Democratic party’s agenda, Schmidt says he is “absolutely aligned with the party’s commitment and fidelity to democracy…[The Democratic Party] is an institution I respect. It’s an institution that has created many great leaders.

“I’ll be as supportive as I can to Democratic candidates who are running to displace this corruptive Republican majority… “If there is not a repudiation of Trumpism delivered this November, Steve Schmidt said, “We’re going to be living in a very different America than the one that everyone has been living in for the previous 240 years.”

Today News – Steve Schmidt leaves ‘the party of Trump’: ‘The GOP has become a danger to our democracy | Today News [2018-06-20]

Steve Schmidt, Longtime G.O.P. Strategist, Quits ‘Corrupt’ and ‘Immoral’ Party | Top Trends [2018-06-021]