Justin Amash May Not Even Be the Most Important Third-Party Candidate
Published in The Washington Post
on April 29, 2020
Tuesday’s announcement from Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) that he is seeking the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination made the bigger splash. But former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura’s statement that he is pursuing the Green Party’s presidential nod might make the bigger impact.
In a sense, Amash is simply joining the party to which he belongs. He was always described as a libertarian or libertarian-leaning congressman. A co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, Amash has been a consistent critic of spending increases and the Patriot Act. He claims libertarian idols Friedrich Hayek and Frédéric Bastiat as his political heroes, told Time magazine that his favorite blog was Café Hayek and joined FreedomWorks co-founder Matt Kibbe at the libertarian music festival, Laissez Fair, last year. These are not the marks of a typical Reagan Republican.
Amash should easily win the Libertarian nod at the party’s May convention despite his late entrance. Delegates are not bound to support any candidate, and he is easily the most recognizable person running. Former Republican Party officeholders have been nominated in each of the past three presidential elections, and Amash is well known in libertarian circles as a true believer. Vermin Supreme is not going beat Justin Amash.
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Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.