Justin Amash quits GOP, slams two-party hegemony

Michigan lawmaker Justin Amash, the first person of Palestinian descent to serve in US Congress, says he is quitting the Republican Party, saying he’s grown disenchanted with America’s two-party system.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Amash cites the “hyperpartisan environment” in Washington as his reason for leaving the party.

“Modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape,” he writes. “Most Americans are not rigidly partisan and do not feel well represented by either of the two major parties. In fact, the parties have become more partisan in part because they are catering to fewer people, as Americans are rejecting party affiliation in record numbers.”

US Rep. Justin Amash arrives at the Capitol before the House passed the Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, May 4, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/JTA)

“No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it,” he adds.

Amash notes his father, a Palestinian refugee from Bethlehem, “would remind my brothers and me of the challenges he faced before coming here and how fortunate we were to be Americans.”

Amash does not mention US President Donald Trump, but in recent months he has been a vocal critic of the president and the party, particularly over allegations in the Mueller report.

According to CNN, Amash may seek the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination.