2020 Libertarian presidential candidate Jacob Hornberger, whom the readers of IPR previously interviewed, has started a series on his campaign blog about Independent Congressman Justin Amash. Amash is reportedly considering a bid for the Libertarian presidential nomination. Parts 1 and 2 of Hornberger’s series were posted here. Part 3, addressed to supporters of Amash, was published yesterday and is posted below:
Some of Congressman Justin Amash’s supporters are upset with me over Parts 1 and 2 of this series and have leveled three critiques against me on social media. I think it’s important to interrupt the normal sequence of this series to address the points they raise.
1. Amash’s supporters are saying that it’s unfair for me to point out that Amash voted “Present” when the stimulus bill came up for a vote. They say that he explained on Facebook why he voted “Present” rather than “Yes” or “No.” Amash’s reason? He said that he had not been given time to read the entire bill.
With all due respect, that is a ridiculous excuse for voting “Present,” absolutely ridiculous. I haven’t read the bill either. That’s doesn’t stop me from ardently opposing the bill in its entirely.
After all, we libertarians all know what the stimulus bill is. It is a crooked, corrupt, plunder-and-loot scheme to enrich the big, well-connected corporations and companies, including the ones that furnish millions of dollars to Democrats and Republicans for their political campaigns. The $1,200 morsel they are sending regular Americans is simply to purchase their acquiescence, submission, and silence.
As a libertarian-conservative, Amash knows this too. He doesn’t have to read the fine print of the bill to know what a “stimulus” package is all about. In fact, Amash understood enough about the bill to tell the Detroit Free Press that while he opposed the corporate bailout feature of the bill, he did support sending a monthly check to American families equal to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, a plan that would even find favor with Andrew Yang, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Bernie Sanders.
A fascinating aspect of this controversy is that Amash, who declaims against federal spending and debt as a threat to “national security,” has never explained where the money would be coming from to fund his monthly stimulus checks to every American family. He knows that government has no money of its own. It gets its money by taxing people. He also knows that the federal government is broke. He knows that the feds are borrowing these trillions of dollars, thereby adding to the mountain of federal debt that Amash himself calls a threat to “national security.”
And yet guess who is on the hook for repayment of all that debt — you guessed it — American taxpayers, including the very people to whom the federal government would be sending Amash’s monthly stimulus checks. Frederic Bastiat put it well in his little book The Law: the state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.
And let’s not forget the role of the Federal Reserve here, an agency that is beloved within both Republican and Democrat circles. Every Austrian economist knows who will ultimately pay the price for this massive inflationary debasement of money — those at the bottom of the economic ladder, who will see their incomes and assets wiped out through monetary debasement.
2. Amash’s supporters also say that it is unfair for me to point out that Amash’s congressional website directs kids to the CIA because the other Republican members of Congress have the same provision on their websites.
Well, duh! Why wouldn’t Republicans have the same provision on their websites? Conservatives and Republicans love the CIA. They love the entire national-security establishment. They think it’s necessary to keep us “safe.” They don’t understand that the CIA is the most evil agency in U.S. history and that it is antithetical to the principles of liberty and libertarianism.
When he was a Republican, there was nothing to prevent Amash from having his own provision about the CIA on his own congressional website. All that he had to do was to instruct the congressional website manager to add something like the following to his own congressional website: “I support the abolition of the CIA, the most evil agency in U.S. history. Please don’t send your kids there.” He didn’t do that, not even when he left the GOP and declared himself an Independent. That’s because he believes in the CIA and, at best, simply wants it “reformed” or “reined in.”
Not me. I want this evil agency abolished, not reformed. A free society necessarily depends on its eradication.
Entering the race
3. Amash’s supporters say it’s unfair for me to publicize his conservative views because he isn’t yet a LP presidential candidate.
After a couple of years of trying to decide whether to remain outside the Libertarian Party and run for reelection to Congress as an Independent (i.e., not an LP member) or finally coming into our party and seek to run for president as a member of the Libertarian Party, Amash finally announced last week that he had suspended his Independent campaign for reelection to Congress and signaled to the mainstream press that he was finally ready to come into the LP and seek our party’s presidential nomination.
If that announcement doesn’t put Amash’s right foot into the Libertarian Party kitchen, I don’t know what does.
A blind man can see what his plan is. He plans to avoid all the LP presidential debates so that his conservative positions are not put up to examination, scrutiny, challenge, and questioning by LP members, including delegates, and by his LP presidential opponents. His plan is to run out the clock, formally enter the race at the last possible moment amidst big national publicity, when he determines that it is safe to come into the water — when there are very few or no more LP presidential debates left.
I have participated in nine presidential debates. With three this week, that will make 12. Amash could have come into the race last February and participated in at least some of those debates. He can still participate in the three debates this week. He won’t do that. That’s what he’s determined to avoid. He just wants to show up at the national convention with his mainstream media notoriety and be offered the LP presidential nomination on a silver platter without having his conservative beliefs, philosophy, and positions examined, challenged, and questioned.
Should the other LP presidential candidates and I who have been participating in these debates over the past several months simply roll over and let him succeed in taking the nomination without having his conservative positions scrutinized, challenged, and questioned?
I say no. He’s no better than the rest of us. Why shouldn’t he have his positions examined, questioned, and challenged, just like the rest of us have. And how else can we do that than by publicizing and analyzing his conservative positions in a series of articles and videos, especially given his plan to avoid LP presidential debates?