Libertarian-leaning independent Justin Amash, who was the first Republican to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment, spoke to his constituents on Wednesday about his belief that the two-party system has rendered the federal government useless. Newsweek reports that Amash referenced Netflix’s House of Cards; a show that he claims portrays Washington in a better light than it is in reality.
“One of the problems we face is that people at home are often unaware of how bad the system is,” Amash said. “You’ll see House of Cards or whatever and say, ‘Oh, it can’t be like that. That’s fiction in some of these shows that depict Washington.'”
“Well, actually, it’s much worse in most respects,” he added. “It’s much worse than House of Cards.”
According to Amash, who has been open about his concerns with the partisan way Congress is run, the real-world Washington players don’t care much about policy or helping their constituents. He claims they are instead motivated by their own re-election and almost always put the interest of their party before the rest of America.
The 39-year-old congressman claims that in House of Cards, the Washington players appear to care about policies, suggesting that fictional Washington is much more productive than its real-world counterpart.
“And in Washington what actually happens is they care about the party first. It’s very much about some sort of self-preservation,” he said.
It hasn’t been long since Amash last criticized the two-party system. He recently took to Twitter to claim both Democrats and Republicans have failed to uphold the Constitution and tell Americans they “don’t have to settle” for what either party is “selling.”
Newly Independent congressman Justin Amash said real-life Washington is "much worse" than Netflix's 'House of Cards' https://t.co/5sBgKKOPOD— Newsweek (@Newsweek) August 21, 2019
PBS reports that Amash is the son of Arab Christian immigrants from Palestine and Syria. He is known for being independent — even when he was part of the Grand Old Party (GOP) — and has a reputation of fighting against government spending and executive overreach. Even amongst the ideological purists of the Tea Party, he was seen as particularly hardline with his beliefs.
Amash won re-election last year by 11 percentage points, although his departure from the Republican Party and vocal opposition to Trump could change that. Since attacking Trump, Amash has lost donor support from the politically powerful DeVos party and received criticism from the GOP.
Although Amash hasn’t ruled out a presidential bid for the Libertarian Party, he claims that it’s not currently on his radar and he’s focusing on representing his constituents.