During an interview Wednesday with The Detroit News, former Republican Justin Amash spoke about his decision to leave the party. He revealed that he made the decision before reading special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — which led to him become to only GOP member in Congress to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment — and spoke about his reasoning.
“I always felt like there was an opportunity to turn things around within the party, and over the last several months it’s become clear to me that that’s not really possible,” he said.
“How many years are you going to try to change the system from within before you realize you have to try a different way? So this was the time to do it…. You just have to try something else.”
During Amash’s Washington Post op-ed where he announced his decision to the leave the GOP, he criticized the hyper-partisan nature of Congress and said that it’s less of a deliberative body and more a “formality to legitimize outcomes dictated by the president, the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader.”
Although Amash’s move was seen by many as a blow to his chances of winning reelection, he is confident he will win a sixth term and believes he is in a better position to represent Michigan’s Third District as an independent. He suggests that it will remove the uncertainty that Democrats may have about him and send a signal to the public that he’s not just focusing on representing one party.
“I’m here to represent every person in my community,” he said.
Republicans and Democrats both are only focused on short-term wins, he said.— Justin Amash (@justinamash) July 11, 2019
"They're forgetting our system depends on trust and respect, and it depends on our institutions — the Constitution, separation of powers, federalism, the rule of law," he said. https://t.co/GVjExXYxCU
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard used her recent appearance on The NPR Politics Podcast to express her agreement with Amash’s decision to leave the GOP behind and his analysis of the partisan nature of current politics. She said that the current “outsized” power of political parties is being misused, which she claims is “squelching” U.S. democracy and hurting people in both parties that voice dissenting opinions.
Like Amash, Gabbard developed the reputation for being a freethinker in Congress and publicly split with her party. In 2016, she resigned from her position of vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) after she saw what she perceived as bias against Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential elections.
Gabbard is also against the United States’ current interventionist foreign policy, which she believes is misguided and does more harm than good. In addition, her opposition to regime change wars and decision to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has caused controversy, with some calling her an Assad apologist.