Michigan Rep. Justin Amash says that he’s leaving the Republican Party over the ugliness of party politics and the danger it poses to the country.
What are the details?
Amash, an outspoken Trump critic, announced his departure from the party in a Thursday op-ed for the Washington Post.
In the piece titled “Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP,” Amash said he finds the current state of party politics frightening for the nation and a threat to everything the U.S. stands for.
“In recent years … I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it,” he wrote. “The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”
The Michigan congressman, who has been the lone House Republican to call for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, said he wants fellow lawmakers to join him in bowing out of “partisan loyalties and rhetoric.” He also left the conservative House Freedom Caucus in June.
Despite his criticism of the president, Amash’s op-ed did not mention Trump at all.
“The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost,” he wrote. “Instead of acting as an independent branch of government and serving as a check on the executive branch, congressional leaders of both parties expect the House and Senate to act in obedience or opposition to the president and their colleagues on a partisan basis.”
Amash added, “With little genuine debate on policy happening in Congress, party leaders distract and divide the public by exploiting wedge issues and waging pointless messaging wars.”
“These strategies fuel mistrust and anger, leading millions of people to take to social media to express contempt for their political opponents, with the media magnifying the most extreme voices,” Amash continued.
“[Tell] the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense,” he added, and revealed that he is considering himself to be an independent.
“No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us,” he adds.
The Michigan lawmaker will no longer be a contender in the April 2020 Republican primary for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. According to Reason, Amash is expected to file papers to run for re-election as an independent.
Did the president respond?
In a fiery tweet, Trump wrote, “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!”