Will Justin Amash run for president? These conservatives hope not

Will Justin Amash run for president? These conservatives hope not
Gage Skidmore

Some Never Trump conservatives have encouraged Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan to run as a third-party candidate in the 2020 presidential election. In 2019, Washington Post columnist George Will, one of the most famous conservative journalists in the U.S., floated the idea of Amash running as a Libertarian Party candidate. But Will has also asserted that a centrist Democratic president would be preferable to President Donald Trump winning reelection.

And writers Sarah Longwell and Tim Miller, in an article for the conservative website The Bulwark, explain why — as much as they hold Amash in high regard — they don’t want to see him run for president this year.

Longwell (The Bulwark’s publisher)  and Miller start out their article listing some of the many things they “love” about Amash — for example, “We love him because he’s actually read both the Constitution and the Mueller Report, and was capable of patiently explaining both to his constituents face-to-face. We love him because he’s the only member of the Freedom Caucus who didn’t abandon everything he believed to pledge fealty to Donald Trump.”

Longwell and Miller go on to stress that Priority #1 for 2020 should be getting President Trump voted out of office — and that will only happen if the Democratic candidate wins.

“This isn’t an easy call,” the Never Trumpers write. “On one hand, we want to be for him — to have the joy and satisfaction of getting behind the constitutional superhero of our dreams. But on the other hand, there is a downside risk to his running — and the price of a second Trump term is too great for anyone to be playing dice with it.”

Longwell and Miller continue, “Trump is not just a Bad Orange Man or guy with suboptimal policy preferences. He is a threat to pluralism, the Constitution, American’s health and safety and the rule of law. He’s a threat to the very heart of our liberal democracy. We know all of this deep in our bones, and we know Justin Amash knows it too. It’s the reason his moral clarity has been so refreshing the past three years.”

Many Democrats in Congress have asserted that despite their policy differences with Amash, they have to applaud his integrity. Amash became persona non grata in the GOP after applauding former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and subsequently joining House Democrats in voting to impeach Trump. And Amash, like Will and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, left the GOP because of Trumpism and presently doesn’t have a party affiliation.

With Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former President Barack Obama having endorsed Joe Biden this week, it is now obvious that the former vice president will be the Democrat running against Trump in the general election. And Longwell and Miller fear that an Amash run would take away votes that Biden needs from anti-Trump independents.

“We are in uncertain times,” Longwell and Miller warn. “It is impossible to know what November holds or exactly how a campaign with a strong libertarian nominee like Amash would play out. But while it may be true that nothing is quite certain in elections or economics or life, there is one thing that is certain about the current federal government: the president is unfit and dangerous.”

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