On July 16, 2019, Michigan’s Republican representative Justin Amash tweeted the following:
“If you’re a Republican, please ask yourself if the party really represents your principles and values. You don’t need to become a Democrat. Simply stand up for what is right. America’s tradition of liberty is beautiful, and it depends on our love and respect for one another.”
In 47 words, Amash not only synthesized what Washington lawmakers need to consider but what all of us need to think about.
After that tweet, Amash took, what was for him, the necessary next step: he became an Independent.
Back in May, after reviewing the 448-page Mueller Report, Amash, still a Republican, said, “Contrary to [Attorney General William] Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
Later that month, Amash didn’t hold back in a tweet that was picked up by Democratic strategist David Axelrod.
“When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.” – May 19
On October 30, Amash tweeted:
“We swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not an oath to support and defend Donald Trump’s abuse of the office of the presidency.”
On October 31, he spoke directly to his fellow Republicans.
“This president will be in power for only a short time, but excusing his misbehavior will forever tarnish your name. To my Republican colleagues: Step outside your media and social bubble. History will not look kindly on disingenuous, frivolous, and false defenses of this man.”
November 4, 6:51 am, Trump tweeted Amash:
“Read the transcript!”
At 9:32 am, Amash tweeted back:
“Read the Constitution.”
The reaction from Amash supporters has been consistent:
“Seems like the entire GOP needs a refresher course on the constitution.” — Will
“As one of Rep. Amash’s constituents, I can tell you that I have never been more proud of my representation in Washington. We need more leaders like Justin Amash.” – Meg
And when the whistleblower’s anonymity was attacked by Republicans, Amash again took to Twitter:
“Libertarians, constitutional conservatives, and classical liberals believe in protecting whistleblowers to expose government corruption. Trump Republicans believe in exposing whistleblowers to protect government corruption.”
On October 20, Amash was interviewed by Chuck Todd of Meet the Press to discuss the president’s removal or troops from Syria. It’s refreshing to watch and listen to an individual who clearly wants to examine the issues and make the appropriate choices based on facts and long-term strategy rather than strict party line rhetoric.
Amash comes across as thoughtful, principled and committed, not only to his constituents but the Constitution he stands by.
We need more, a lot more, like Amash.