Independence Day is the celebration of the founding of our country. It is not normally a day when presents are exchanged. Justin Amash has upended that tradition by granting all of America a viable alternative to Trump and Biden. In so doing, he has given us a gift.
Now, I’m not giving up on Bill Weld. He’s still a sharp Republican with a history of successfully managing a state, and a “blue” state nonetheless. I’m not giving up on a Libertarian or Independent candidate stepping up, although as mentioned in a prior editorial, they need to do so early, not late in the election process. I’m also not giving up on the possibility that the Democrats might nominate someone who will run to the center or even to the historical “right” enough to earn my vote.
With his op-ed in the Washington Post today, however, Amash has immediately vaulted into the top tier of my Presidential candidates. This is because the man has been tested, and he has stuck to his principles rather than capitulate against the giant and oppressive machine of party politics.
If he runs, whether as a Libertarian or an Independent, he would be certain to get some free media coverage. Unlike traditional Libertarians, he is still what would have normally been called a strong conservative, and therefore he will be viewed as a vote-splitter from Trump while presenting little threat of bleeding off Democrat votes.
Amash, barring any self-destructive gaffes (which he’s avoided making during his time in office) will still face choices. If he runs as a Libertarian, he’ll be saddled with whomever the party picks as VP; as the strains of Libertarian differ dramatically, with some distinctly unpalatable to average Americans, that could be a setback. On the other hand, he would walk into a situation where he could immediately get onto the ballot in every state and could easily reach the cutoff requirement to be on the final debate stage – a very important political benefit.
All of this, and more, will become the topic of conversation in the weeks ahead. Amash will decide whether to run for higher office, run again for his current position, or walk away from public service. He will be cheered by patriots and attacked by those who choose Trump over principle.
One thing that is not a point of debate, however, is the gift. Two gifts, in fact. The first, and lesser of the two, is the truth that followers of politics today will be talking more about Justin Amash’s snub of Trumpism than the President’s masturbatory display of militaria in the nation’s Capitol. The second, and much greater, is what was left in Pandora’s box after she released all the Trumps into the world. Amash has given us hope.