Justin Amash Speaks; The GOP Should Listen

While I was not familiar with Representative Justin Amash from Michigan until very recently when he, the lone GOP Congressman willing to stand for the nation instead of his own interests, called for the impeachment of Donald Trump.  Suddenly, all eyes were on Representative Amash.  He took flak from Trump & Co., and from his own fellow members of Congress on the right side of the partisan aisle, but he stood his ground, had the courage of his convictions.

The very first news story I saw today was an OpEd by Representative Amash … news that he is leaving the Republican Party, aka GOP.  Thumbs-up to Amash, and the GOP would do well to listen, for We the People are sick and damn tired of the republicans in Congress being naught more than a mouthpiece for the would-be dictator in the Oval Office.

Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP.

Justin Amash

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan listens as he is introduced during a town hall event in Grand Rapids on May 28. (Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg News)

By Justin Amash July 4 at 6:00 AM
Justin Amash, an independent, represents Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District in the House.

When my dad was 16, America welcomed him as a Palestinian refugee. It wasn’t easy moving to a new country, but it was the greatest blessing of his life.

Throughout my childhood, my dad would remind my brothers and me of the challenges he faced before coming here and how fortunate we were to be Americans. In this country, he told us, everyone has an opportunity to succeed regardless of background.

Growing up, I thought a lot about the brilliance of America. Our country’s founders established a constitutional republic uniquely dedicated to securing the rights of the people. In fact, they designed a political system so ordered around liberty that, in succeeding generations, the Constitution itself would strike back against the biases and blind spots of its authors.

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.

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.

George Washington was so concerned as he watched political parties take shape in America that he dedicated much of his farewell address to warning that partisanship, although “inseparable from our nature,” was the people’s “worst enemy.” He observed that it was “the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”

Washington said of partisanship, in one of America’s most prescient addresses: “The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty. …

“It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.”

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. The result has been the consolidation of political power and the near disintegration of representative democracy.

These are consequences of a mind-set among the political class that loyalty to party is more important than serving the American people or protecting our governing institutions. The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost. 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.

In this hyperpartisan environment, congressional leaders use every tool to compel party members to stick with the team, dangling chairmanships, committee assignments, bill sponsorships, endorsements and campaign resources. As donors recognize the growing power of party leaders, they supply these officials with ever-increasing funds, which, in turn, further tightens their grip on power.

The founders envisioned Congress as a deliberative body in which outcomes are discovered. We are fast approaching the point, however, where Congress exists as little more than a formality to legitimize outcomes dictated by the president, the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader.

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. This all combines to reinforce the us-vs.-them, party-first mind-set of government officials.

Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape.

Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties. In fact, the parties have become more partisan in part because they are catering to fewer people, as Americans are rejecting party affiliation in record numbers.

These same independent-minded Americans, however, tend to be less politically engaged than Red Team and Blue Team activists. Many avoid politics to focus on their own lives, while others don’t want to get into the muck with the radical partisans.

But we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic so that Americans may continue to live free for centuries to come. 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.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. 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.

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Note to Readers:

Apparently WordPress has mucked up again, for the very minute that this post was published, it showed 24 ‘likes’, and I know that is impossible.  Sigh.  Just thought I’d better let you know so that if you see your picture in the row of ‘likes’, and don’t remember reading or liking it before, you’ll know you aren’t losing your mind … WordPress is!

33 thoughts on “Justin Amash Speaks; The GOP Should Listen

  1. Thank you for sharing!.. they are only going to listen if one tells them what they wish to hear!… 🙂

    “It’s a saying they have, that a man has a false heart in his mouth for the world to see, another in his breast to show to his special friends and his family, and the real one, the true one, the secret one, which is never known to anyone except to himself alone…” James Clavell,

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, they are closed minded and will support Trump as long as he gives them what they want, should he stop, they will drop him like a bad habit and look elsewhere and Trump will do anything to keep his fan base irregardless of the consequences.. 🙂 while one cannot totally ignore Trump, for change one needs to concentrate on the fan base… 🙂

        “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” (Mother Teresa)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Quite so … Trump is but a symptom of a larger disease, and until that is addressed, there will be other Trumps. Oh, how I cringe at that thought! Mother Teresa was a wise woman.

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  2. Hey, Jill,
    Here is a man I might even go vote for, and that says a lot. Of course, I have to know more, but at first glance he is looking good. What you need next are a few more elected representatives willing to renounce their party affiliation and set off to create a Harmonized Independent Partnership, or some such organization to fight back against the forces of darkness and antiquity..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I think of him as I did the late John McCain. I don’t often agree with his ideas, but I respect him as a man of integrity, character, courage and honour. I believe, as I did with McCain, that he stands by the courage of his convictions, that he does what he believes is right for the greater good of the nation rather than loyalty to party or oath of fealty to a ‘president’. I would vote for such a man.

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    • It surely does, especially given the ‘man’ in the Oval Office spews hate and vitriol whenever he is crossed. Let’s hope Amash’ constituents appreciate his courage and integrity and re-elect him next year, despite Trump.

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  3. Amash should be commended for his independence. His views are pretty ‘out there’ politically, and I probably disagree with 99% of what he believes, but he’s spot on. What do you think Jill of the possibility of a viable third-party every coming to fruition? It would be so hard because of how R’s and D’s have rigged the game in their favor. I’m a diehard Dem..always have been. But, if we could somehow start, say a Progressive Party, or something similar…I’d be very interested. The roadblocks are so high though. Maybe a system like the UK where there are multiple parties would do us some good. Something to ponder.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I view Amash the same as I always did John McCain … I often don’t agree with his views, but I respect the man, see him as a man of integrity and honour, and believe that he is acting in what he feels is the best interest of the nation. Not too many republicans I can say that about any more.

      Ahhhh … you bring up a subject that has been in the back of my mind for a few years now … a multi-party system. I must ask you to hold that thought for a week or so, but feel free to nudge me if I don’t come back to it soon. It is definitely worth pondering, but there are many facets to ponder. Let’s talk about it once I get a chance to catch my breath and do a bit of legal research, okay?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Absolutely Jill. It’s worth exploring. I will do the sam.
        I agree with you on Amash and McCain by the way. The R Party is bereft of people like this. If we had more of them, maybe some stuff might just get done!!!

        Liked by 1 person

          • Agreed. 25% is a pipe dream at this point. I’m hoping that the Trump dumpster-fire will finally put the present Republican Party to rest, and slowly return it to some form of normalcy. God, I sure as hell hope so. These people are nuts!!

            Liked by 1 person

            • It is just my opinion, but I think the GOP may be just about on its last legs. It may be able to pull out of this, but otherwise, I think it may evolve into something different altogether. Throughout history, both the Democratic and Republican parties have evolved, and it is a process that is ongoing, but now … I don’t think it will be a process for the GOP so much as a complete makeover. That is … if we still have such a thing as parties and elections after the current circus leaves town. Sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I think so too. The parties do change over time. Think about it. LBJ said after the Civil Rights bill that the Dems would lose the South for generations. He was so right. The Dems were the segregationists back then. We no that’s no longer the case. The R’s cannot stay the party of white people for too much longer. Cheating and suppressing votes can only work for so long. The country is changing. They WILL hang on for dear life though. Once the orange menace is gone? Maybe…just maybe, they start to moderate.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Let us just hope for the moment that the Orange Menace is gone after next year. I am beginning to have a bad feeling … he thinks he is above the law … what if … just let me toss this thought out for consideration … what if he loses on November 3rd 2020. Say he loses to {gasp!} a woman … a black woman, such as Kamala Harris. Now, from November 3rd 2020 until inauguration day, January 20th, 2021, there are 78 days. What if he used those 78 days to … oh, say declare martial law, or sign an executive order declaring the election invalid. Would Congress stop him? Just some food for thought … sigh.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Your scenario, unfortunately, is entirely possible. Great question too…would Congress stop him? Based on their current performance? I’m not confident…..ughhhhh

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • No, I have no faith in Congress, and while I have some in the Courts, for they have stopped him many times, I don’t have full confidence as we should be able to have. Scary times!

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    • No need to reinvent the wheel, we had a progressive party formed in 1912 by former President Teddy Roosevelt as an alternative to the 2 party racket. Today it has evolved into the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). The party promotes green politics, specifically environmentalism; nonviolence; social justice; participatory, grassroots democracy; gender equality; LGBT rights; anti-war and anti-racism.
      Basically everything we care about and value as decent citizens of the US! Sadly the majority of US voters are brainwashed into choosing either false parties come election day, most don’t even realize we actually have a choice! I sure as heck won’t vote for Trump, so if no viable Democrat candidate comes to the fore, I’ll be forced to vote my conscience and go Green. Jill Stein is great, but we need someone with a stronger vision. I’m always disappointed about Bernie Sanders sucking up to the Dems when he should lead the REAL progressive Green Party and drop the hypocrisy. Everyone knows the Democratic Party had been hijacked since the 90s and has gone full corporate, Wall St, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Oil, M.I.C.
      Sigh, we really do need a viable 3rd party for sure. 😦

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  4. Jill, this post seems to have pasted itself in place of your ‘Jolly Monday’ Post, so appears twice in my reader but with different photos before opening.
    Sadly, your WordPress is still acting up, but hope it gets sorted. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      • Same thing happened to me, but it’s not the first time — it has happened on other blogs from time to time (even on a few where I wouldn’t have clicked “Like”). I don’t think WordPress will ever get its act together, but this particular problem is the least of their glitches, in my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, yet another courageous statement followed by the typical name-calling response from the US president. Amash offers studious rationale for his decision as he did after he READ the Mueller report and called for the impeachment of the president.

    We need to tell each member of Congress that this is what courage looks like. This is what the oath to uphold the constitution looks like in practice. This independent and former Republican welcomes his decision. I believe we must use his courage as a lever to encourage others to find their spine. He and the Republicans for the Rule of Law need to be heard over the loudest voice who is a clear and present danger to our democracy, our planet and his own party.

    Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • But of course there is name-calling from “the donald” … would you have expected otherwise? I put Amash in the same category that I always put John McCain in … I often don’t agree with his position, but I have tremendous respect for the man and believe he is doing what he believes is right for We the People. He has courage and integrity. I give him two thumbs up, no matter what the republicans think, and I hope his constituents will appreciate his honour enough to re-elect him next year. If all republicans were like him, we might see some really great bipartisan bills coming out of Congress. Mitchie McConnell could take a lesson from him.

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      • Jill, I think if given the opportunity to talk, Amash can educate people. John Oliver spoke with a woman who felt there was nothing incriminating in the Mueller Report after what Barr said, which is why Barr did the nation a disservice per Amash, per the Republicans for the Rule of Law, per Chris Wallace, per Judge Napolitano, per 1,000 plus former federal prosecutors. When Amash spoke to a group including her, she understood his position.

        Do you know what is not getting enough airplay is the DOD’s report on the risk to the US of the rising global influence of Russia. This should raise concern, but it just kind of laid there after being reported.

        Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I saw a Town Hall meeting that Amash held the week after he bravely said that Trump had, in fact, committed impeachable offenses, and his constituents were applauding him. He has a way of speaking … straightforward, and his honest comes across. Hopefully he will return in 2021. Hopefully Trump won’t.

          You know what … you are right about the DoD report, and why? Did you see the story in the headlines of either The Washington Post or the New York Times? Nope. Did you see it on Fox News … ha ha ha ha. It has been largely ignored, though I did see it in Politico. Hmmmm … maybe I’ll do something with it.

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          • Jill, please do. The DoD has written two reports, one old and one new, that are worth airing. The older one says climate change is a threat to national security. The newer one says the rise in Russian influence is a threat to national security. To me, I would ask these questions directly to any candidate. “The DoD says these two issues are a theart to national security….What do you plan to do about it now?” If they give you a BS answer, repeat the source and question. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

            • I am looking into them this evening and try to do something in the next few days. Did you hear today that now he is considering adding the citizenship question to the census via executive order, since the Supreme Court said his reasons were improper? Surely there is a limit to what can be done via executive order?!?!

              Like

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