Justin Amash Leaves Republican Party

On July 4th, 2019, better known as Independence Day, Representative Justin Amash announced and declared his independence from the Republican Party through an op-ed in The Washington Post. He becomes the only independent member of the United States House of Representatives this Congress. This is likely to have little effect on voting and the balance of power in the 116th Congress.

There was speculation that Amash may seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination, a notion that was mentioned across much of mainstream media over the last few days. Several major media sources including the Washington Post and Politico made note of this.

According to Google Trends, a site that tracks Google searches of search terms, several terms including “Libertarian Party” and “Libertarian Party Nomination” saw large spikes in searches both on July 4th and July 5th. At one point, the search term “Libertarian Party of Michigan” saw a 600% increase in searches.

It’s undeniable that Amash leaving the Republican Party has brought the Libertarian Party a significant amount of free press but whether the rumors and speculation of Amash running for President are true is yet to be seen.

57 thoughts on “Justin Amash Leaves Republican Party

  1. fred stein

    It is a good sign. Don’t know if I would support him as the LP nominee for President. I am tired of running Republican lite candidate like Barr and Gary Johnson. But then again I would support him over the two anarchists that are now running for the LP nomination. Some of my best friends are anarchists but I don’t want them at the head of the ticket. I would support their run for Congress or lesser office.

  2. NewFederalist

    I think it’s time to nominate someone who has been a libertarian and a Libertarian for a long time.

  3. Gene Berkman

    Rep Justin Amash told a tv news reporter that he is running for re-election to Congress as an Independent.

    He is up against the Michigan party column ballot, and Republicans will target the district, which has long been a Republican stronghold. But Justin Amash can raise funds nationally from Arab-Americans, Ron Paul supporters, antiwar Libertarians and even from Democrats who like his attacks on Trump.

    He has name recognition and won 5 times in the district, so he is competitive. Even if he loses, which is likely, he will get a higher percentage of the vote than most Independent candidates, and he can use his campaign to promote opposition to war and statism.

    Justin Amash for Congress @ https://www.justinamash.com/

  4. NewFederalist

    Gene- Do you plan to vote for Amash if he declares for the LP presidential nomination? I plan to be a delegate in Austin (your old stomping grounds!) and he will really need to convince me!

  5. Massimo

    Amash might not be an anarchist, but he is not a light- libertarian either. Not only he is for a very small state (and I think a even smaller one if he could be completely candid), but he is also intellectually solid. He knows his economics and his politics, he is not a Reaganesque empty suit.

    Magnificent candidate, if he were interested.

  6. SocraticGadfly

    Greens oppose war, Gene, as do actual Socialists. Were I up there, I’d have no reason to vote for Amash. Plus, the Paul-tards aren’t real L/l-ibertarians anyway, IMO. More Constitution Party types.

  7. dL

    Plus, the Paul-tards aren’t real L/l-ibertarians anyway, IMO. More Constitution Party types.

    Amash isn’t a libertarian, but neither is he a “constitution party type.”

  8. dL

    He is up against the Michigan party column ballot, and Republicans will target the district, which has long been a Republican stronghold. But Justin Amash can raise funds nationally from Arab-Americans, Ron Paul supporters, antiwar Libertarians and even from Democrats who like his attacks on Trump.

    A la the Sanders model, it will be interesting to see if the Democratic party actively supports the democratic nominee in that race. Ordinarily, probably so. But with the specter of impeachment, an Independent Amash could be an asset to the dems. But that is precisely why Amash will not run as a libertarian in that congressional race.

  9. NewFederalist

    “But then again I would support him over the two anarchists that are now running for the LP nomination.” – fred stein

    Which two?

  10. fred stein

    hint……………one is from Arizona and the other is from Maryland.

  11. Jared

    The list of Libertarian declared 2020 presidential candidates is looking pretty sad right now. The anarcho-jailbird, the most loathsome man in the LP, Captain Ahab from self-imposed exile, and The Man in the Yellow Hat make Vermin Supreme seem almost electable. Even if you never want to see another disaffected ex-Republican leading the ticket, it’s not like an Amash run could possibly make the field any worse.

  12. George Phillies

    Missed Bumper Hornberger and Kim Ruff. Jared appears to be trolling for Amash.

  13. Jared

    GP: “Missed Bumper Hornberger and Kim Ruff. Jared appears to be trolling for Amash.”

    I said declared presidential candidates, so that excludes Hornberger. All I know about Kim Ruff and Ben Leder is that they’re Radical Caucus officers, and for me “No Particular Orderism” is a deal-breaker. If acknowledging that Amash would be a less abysmal candidate than Kokesh or Vohra counts as “trolling” for him, then sure, why not.

  14. dL

    but he is not a light- libertarian either

    He’s a typical conservative who forgot to turn into a Pelosi democrat vis a vis spending and executive power whenever a Repub occupies the oval office. Low bar.

  15. paulie

    hint……………one is from Arizona and the other is from Maryland.

    At least two who match your description primarily reside in Arizona (Ruff and Kokesh). As a side note, current LNC chair Nick Sarwark resides in Arizona and used to reside in and was the chair of LP or Maryland. I believe he is also an anarchist, and I seem to recall once told me that he has a long term ambition to some day seek the presidential nomination (my memory isn’t perfect), although I’m about positive there’s no realistic chance he would do so in 2020, and 2024 seems highly unlikely at this point, although who knows. I’m also fairly sure did tell me when he was 18 in 2000 he would one day be national chair, and since 2014 he has been. Along the way he was chair of Maryland, vice chair of Colorado, member and I think chair of Judicial Committee, etc, etc.

  16. fred stein

    my hint answer was kokesh and Vohra. But here is another clue “The Walrus was Paul”

  17. eeyn

    dL – yes, a low bar but it’s not clear the LP has any high bar possibilities, if by high bar one means not just across-the-board solid on every libertarian issue, but also having decent communication skills, no hugely distracting personality issues, and a minimal appearance of professionalism and integrity.

    I could go with Amash if he was willing to partially reverse himself and take the “not within the powers of the federal government” dodge on restricting abortion.

  18. paulie

    my hint answer was kokesh and Vohra. But here is another clue “The Walrus was Paul”

    Ruff is also an anarchist from Arizona who is seeking the LP nomination so you would have had to provide at least one more clue or leave it to a spin of the dice.

    I’m Paul too, but not a walrus, although I do come from a land of ice and snow – Siberia, that is.

  19. George Phillies

    Ruff declared some time ago and has a significant campaign apparatus.

  20. paulie

    Rep Justin Amash told a tv news reporter that he is running for re-election to Congress as an Independent.

    It’s a reflexive filing and backup plan but I still am guessing he is more likely to file for a presidential run. It just feels like he is headed there and he won’t deny it. He has said for a long time that the straight ticket kept him from leaving the duopoly. Now he has, but the straight ticket is still there.

  21. NewFederalist

    I am rather favorably disposed to Rep. Amash but he really needs to shit or get off the pot regarding running for president on the Libertarian ticket. I plan to be a delegate in Austin and he REALLY needs to convince me. His current antics are not impressing me.

  22. dL

    but it’s not clear the LP has any high bar possibilities

    Apparently, the high bar for the past 20 years has been to be an actual libertarian.

  23. eeyn

    “the high bar for the past 20 years has been to be an actual libertarian.”

    Mike Badnarik was only 15 years ago and whatever his faults I would say he was an actual libertarian.

    Anyway, the point was possibilities. In 2008 there were at least two high-bar contenders (Mary Ruwart and George Phillies) who were full-up libertarians, good communicators, and acted like serious candidates rather than performance artists or rhetorical bomb-throwers. Unfortunately neither got nomination but at least there were good choices.

    The difference I see in 2020 is that the possibilities being floated seem to be oddballs like Vohra and Vermin Supreme, or weakly libertarian ex-Republicans like Amash (if he’d even accept). That’s what I meant by the high bar not being an option, at so far.

  24. Stewart Flood

    “I think it’s time to nominate someone who has been a libertarian and a Libertarian for a long time.”

    There is another. As state chair of South Carolina, I was notified on July 4th that Dr. Jo Jorgensen, Harry Browne’s 1996 running mate is now in the race. 1996 was the last year that LP candidates were permitted on the national debate stage.

    She has been a member of the party since 1991, and has been a candidate a number of times in South Carolina, including a run for congress. She has also served terms as a county party chair, a member of the state committee, and vice chair of the state party.

    I won’t dare to define whether she considers herself a minarchist, an anarchist, or a whatarchist. Those are questions to ask her. I know that her “official” announcement has not yet taken place, but I was informed on July 4th that after a year of consideration and planning to make sure that a campaign will not affect her teaching position at Clemson University, she is now officially in the race.

    The state party was informed at the 2018 national convention that she was considering running.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Jorgensen

  25. paulie

    1996 was the last year that LP candidates were permitted on the national debate stage.

    As in debating the D and R nominees? That did not happen. But glad to hear Jo is running. Is there a website, FB page /group etc?

  26. Gene Berkman

    In 1996 the Minnesota Independence Party held a campaign forum and invited 7 candidates for President. Clinton, Dole, Perot and Nader all declined to attend, so the forum featured Harry Brown, Howard Phillips, and John Hagelin – I don’t think any other candidates were included.

    The forum was broadcast on CSPAN, and it did get Harry Browne some exposure, but it was not really a “national debate stage” as people think of it during a Presidential campaign.

  27. paulie

    Academia is better for that than politics, but since you’ve spent a lot of time in both I don’t have to tell you. When it comes to the presidential race however, audience size is more important than quality of opposition.

  28. paulie

    jared> for me “No Particular Orderism” is a deal-breaker.

    Why?

    People misunderstand what that means. It’s not “you can never increase spending on any program by a penny, even temporarily.” It’s “you can’t hold freedom policy A hostage to Freedom Policy B being enacted first,” the most familiar example being we can’t be for immigration freedom until we end the welfare state.

    But extrapolate, and pretty soon no freedom policy can ever be enacted because they all entangle.

    We can’t end the welfare state before we end occupational licensing, burdensome regulations and heavy taxes – people need welfare until they can start businesses and get jobs.

    We can’t end those while we have medicare and medicaid – too many people will be hurt on the job and won’t have enough to pay.

    We can’t end those until we have better nutrition, and we can’t have that while we subsidize certain agribusinesses.

    We can’t end agribusiness subsidies til we end immigration quotas – farmer need cheap immigrant labor to make up for the loss of agribusiness subsidies.

    That’s just one of an endless number of loops like that. The only way around them, and to ever get real change, is no particular orderism – push for all our freedoms all the time, and see where we can succeed. It’s often not where we expect.

  29. robert capozzi

    pf: we can’t be for immigration freedom until we end the welfare state.

    me: Of course, neither is on the table. Only NAPists and a few other hard-leftists want no borders. Only NAPists and a few hard-rightists want to end the welfare state.

  30. fred stein

    Yes we need to need first to abolish the welfare State, My grandfather was an illegal alien from Poland. He jump ship . He was a baker. The ship landed landed in Baltimore. He had contacts in New York . With the help of friends and Jewish organizations he was to make a living and had a place to live. He fled to the area of Poland during World War One cause he didn’t want to fight that war. I am proud he was a draft dodger especially in that ridiculous World War One. ……………

  31. paulie

    Of course, neither is on the table.

    To varying degrees. Make the statements directional rather than absolute if you wish.

  32. robert capozzi

    pf,

    Yes, directional change in liberalizing immigration that addresses the taxpayers’ risk is the golden outcome. Require a bond as the quid pro quo…

  33. Jared

    paulie: “People misunderstand what that means. It’s not ‘you can never increase spending on any program by a penny, even temporarily.’ It’s ‘you can’t hold freedom policy A hostage to Freedom Policy B being enacted first,’ the most familiar example being we can’t be for immigration freedom until we end the welfare state.”

    Allow me to come at it from another direction. With one hand, the government wounds us; with the other hand, they distribute free alcohol swabs and painkillers. My understanding of NPO is that it doesn’t matter which illegitimate government operation we tackle first, the wounding or the treating. Legislation and regulation often come packaged with harmful unintended consequences, but so can repeal and deregulation. Some radical libertarians may think, “So what? Release the pain. We aren’t its cause, and the people need to lose their tolerance for the state.” Even if one has no moral qualms about pulling the rug out from under those who are dependent on government, it’s a lousy strategy for winning people to the cause. They won’t hate government for injuring them systemically. They will hate us for ripping away their comfort, and telling them, “No, you don’t understand. Once you give us the rest of what we propose, you’ll be better off,” ain’t going to cut it. Should libertarian reform A be held hostage to libertarian reform B? Well, it depends. I’m not concerned about tax accountants would fare under a simplified tax code, or how disincentivizing rent-seeking behavior would impact land speculators. My concern is for the bottom rungs of society who suffer the most government abuse.

  34. dL

    Should libertarian reform A be held hostage to libertarian reform B?

    No. That being said, 1 step forward + 30 steps back==29 steps back. so, for example, marginal tax rate cutting xenophobes should be thoroughly rejected.

  35. dL

    Require a bond as the quid pro quo…

    You know, Bob, you should stop stealing from Hans Hoppe

  36. Eric Sundwall

    One self-identified “NAP-IST”, can they be named? There is no movement, no caucas, no website. No Napists.

  37. robert capozzi

    PF,

    Were it only that simple. The current setup isn’t. With the welfare state in place, taxpayer exposure necessarily increases.

  38. LibertyDave

    robert capozzi, it is that simple. It’s your fears that keep you from seeing the truth. Taxpayer exposure doesn’t increase by adding taxpayers. Especially when the new taxpayers use less public services than native taxpayers use over their lives. It’s your fears of what you believe immigrants might do, base on the lies of bigots, that are the basis of your arguments against immigration.

  39. robert capozzi

    ES,

    Yes, I stipulate that no one to my knowledge refers to themselves as NAPists. Like all language, I use it as a shorthand to distinguish between those who use the single-constraint of the NAP vs. those lessarchists who do not.

    I’m open to a more useful shorthand term, please do share it.

  40. Chuck Moulton

    Yet again a thread has been hijacked by Capozzism and now has no relation to the topic of Justin Amash.

    Can’t we limit Capozzism to his own “napist” / “lessarchist” post so he doesn’t make every single post about his weird dystopian fantasies?

    It’s even more pervasive than Andy’s petitioning rants, immigration craziness, Sandy Hook conspiracies, and gay frogs.

  41. NewFederalist

    You mean like PLAS? That got it’s own exclusive thread for Bob Milnes. Or James Ogle and all his USA parliament nonsense. However, without Capozzi posting here this place might shut down.

  42. robert capozzi

    LD : Especially when the new taxpayers use less public services than native taxpayers use over their lives. It’s your fears of what you believe immigrants might do, base on the lies of bigots, that are the basis of your arguments against immigration.

    ME: on the first sentence, I’m still waiting to see the numbers that include public education and health. On the second point, I have zero fears about immigrants. You can make the assertion all you want, and pretend that you can read my mind, but that doesn’t make it so, now does it?

  43. LibertyDave

    robert capozzi

    Paulie and others have already posted links to the studies that show this but your fears won’t let you believe them.

    As to the second points, no one needs to read your mind. you tell everyone your fears in your comments. Every time you argue against a libertarian solution you cite your fears as the reason they won’t work.

    For example on immigration, one your fears is that if we have open borders, the government will steal more money from the citizens to give to the immigrants. This is an unreasonable fear. Even if the government were able to stop all immigration and deport all illegal immigrants the government will still increase taxes at what ever rate that they think they can get away with. By the way the government will never be able to stop people who want to from crossing the border.

  44. Jared

    dL (replying to me): “No. That being said, 1 step forward + 30 steps back==29 steps back. so, for example, marginal tax rate cutting xenophobes should be thoroughly rejected.”

    I wasn’t talking about illegal immigration. Did you mean to reply to Bob?

  45. dL

    I wasn’t talking about illegal immigration. Did you mean to reply to Bob?

    no, I simply qualified my remark with an example of where so-called “no particular orderism” fails.

  46. dL

    The Trumpist GOP isn’t even interested in federalism, much less minarchism or “lessarchism”.

    Best I can tell, so-called lessarchism is Trumpism w/ plausible deniability b/c other than Bob’s rants against liberal individualism, the LP SOP and immigration, no one knows what the hell Capozzi is talking about

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