COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Congressman Justin Amash’s announcement on Tuesday that he would form an exploratory committee for a presidential election as a candidate for the Libertarian Party was convened a possible game changer from party members across the country.
Harold Thomas, chairman of the Ohio Libertarian Party executive committee, told WDTN.com that Amash’s candidacy would be a good thing for the party nationally, but only if he stays after the election.
“I think it’s an exciting development and it will draw attention to the libertarian party,” said Thomas. “It would be nice if he stayed after the election. Ron Paul didn’t, he would always go back to the Republicans after that.
“Gary Johnson (the former New Mexico Governor) was a huge win because he joined the Libertarian Party and is still here. As a candidate in 2016, he quadrupled the number of votes for the libertarian candidate. If Mr. Amash could do that, it would be wonderful. “
So far, Amash has hit the right notes with party members. The Michigan congressman told Politico Thursday that part of his formation of an exploratory committee, and not an announcement of a candidacy, was to respect the party’s nomination process.
“I’m new to the party,” Amash told Politico. “I respect the process and the delegates. I want to deserve your support. I want to earn your trust. ”
Thomas said the party had about 10 nominees running. From Friday, only four were on the ballot in five or more states.
Amash won the 2010 Congress election as part of the Republican tea party wave. He was a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus but became disappointed with the party and the party system as a whole the longer he served. He announced that he would join an independent on July 4, 2019 in a statement from the Washington Post. He wrote that the country’s two-party political system was broken.
“The two-party system has become an existential threat to American principles and institutions,” wrote Amash. “The parties want to win for their own sake.”
Amash told Politico that he was most angry with the party’s approach in tone, ready to use constituencies to gain political points rather than improve the country’s welfare. This has become a selling point for the Libertarian Party, which has denounced the “culture war” rhetoric of Democrats and Republicans and its lack of focus on politics.
“We have many cultures in this country,” said Thomas. “We have only seen such disputes between left and right in recent years. You have one party that emphasizes personal freedom rather than economic freedom and another that emphasizes economic freedom but not personal freedom. Both want to use the overarching power of the federal government to achieve what they want.
“We have a consistent idea of where the country should go. The two parties have no principles other than Republicans, who like to frustrate Democrats, and Democrats, who like to frustrate Republicans. ”
Thomas said the Libertarian Party’s platform has not changed since 1972Focus on foreign policy non-aggression, open immigration and less government involvement in economic and social issues. He called its consistency an attractive option for voters.
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