I’ve been a long-time fan of Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI).
On matters of liberty, Amash has been a courageous and unapologetic defender of our constitutionally guaranteed God-given rights, and I’ve relied on him as a source on liberty issues many times over the years.
Amash always backs up his convictions with action. When Trump, the Republican Party, and faux conservatives repeatedly violated the trust given them by the American people, he called them out for their cowardice and their failure to protect and defend the Constitution. Eventually, this would lead to his resignation from the House Freedom Caucus he co-founded and his decision to leave the GOP to become an Independent.
Based on this track record, I gave my early endorsement of Amash for POTUS in 2020 over a year ago when he was still a Republican. And when he announced the formation of an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the 2020 election, all I could say was YES! YES!! YES!!!
So it was with mixed emotions and a bit of sadness that I learned via Twitter of Amash’s decision to abandon his presidential run due to the “extraordinary challenges” he would face this election cycle as a third-party candidate during a time when coronavirus hysteria would make it very difficult to fundraise or even hold a convention.
“This environment presents extraordinary challenges. Polarization is near an all-time high.
“Electoral success requires an audience willing to consider alternatives, but both social media and traditional media are dominated by voices strongly averse to the political risks posed by a viable third candidate.
“The new reality of social distancing levels the playing field among the candidates in many respects, but it also means lesser known candidates are more dependent on adequate media opportunities to reach people.
“Today, most Americans are understandably more interested in what life will look like tomorrow than they are in broader policy debates, and news coverage has reflected those priorities.
“At the same time, fundraising challenges posed by an idled economy will hinder advertising.”
This decision has led many of my fellow conservatives to ask, “What do we do now?” to which I reply, “The same thing we were doing before Amash considered running.
My support for Amash wasn’t based on some Pollyanna belief that he was the “chosen one who would bring balance to the Force” (gratuitous Star Wars reference). Besides, the current “chosen one” in the White House has shown us how THAT can turn out. 😉
Instead, I supported Amash because he was the face of the values I know are needed in Washington to see a return to the conservative principles necessary for tyranny to be destroyed and liberty to be restored — values that remain necessary with or without him.
Much of this fight is currently taking place at the state and local levels of government. Tyranny and the spread of socialism has become the “new normal” across America as governors, mayors, and county governments issue their unconstitutional edicts in response to coronavirus hysteria. For us to hope that one person in the White House could single-handedly change that is dangerous and naïve.
We need to continue fighting for our values at every level of government because sometimes you have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
THAT’S what we do . . . now and forever.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable and promotes conservative principles over political parties.