Opinion: Independence Day! Amash Gives GOP The Finger
In a sharply written op-ed piece, published in the Washington Post on the Fourth of July, Representative Justin Amash from Kentwood, declared his independence from the tyranny of the Republican Party.
Combined with his previous declaration (that's spelled: "political suicide") regarding Donald Trump and the "I" word, in announcing his departure from the Grand 'Ol Party, in less than one thousand words, Amash showed more statesmanship, leadership and "balls" than any elected leader in recent memory. And as an added perk, singlehandedly put the fun back in the political circus.
Writ Rep. Amash:
"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." - Rep. Justin Amash in the Washington Post
Obviously, as striking a piece as Amash has composed, the reality is, he had nothing left to lose. The GOP has evolved into something akin to "The Stepford Wives", and after his declaration that impeachment proceedings should be commenced against his then party's own President, his own political career became a case of "Dead Man Walking."
On this Independence Day Holiday, Amash invoked the memory of the country's first President and founding father, George Washington saying,
"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.”
Will any of this make any difference? Highly unlikely. The country, as great as it is, is currently broken. While it is the hope from this vantage point that Amash's message will resonate, the sad reality is, it won't. People's heels are deeply dug in. While it is comforting that as with many things, life is cyclical, we may not be around when this cycle finally does come to an end.
For the final word, I yield to the honorable Representative from the state of Michigan, with the final words from his own Declaration of Independence:
"...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....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."