"If you allow people to make people to make their own decisions, you actually get good outcomes for society," says Rep. Justin Amash in his recent interview with Reason Magazine's Nick Gillespie. "And that really is something that I think about a lot as a legislator."
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), often touted as "the next Ron Paul" had a rocky start to his second term in Congress. After overcoming a redistricting effort to win re-election by a comfortable margin in November, Amash was welcomed back to Washington with a pink slip: He and a group of libertarian-leaning backbenchers were stripped of their committee assignments by the GOP leadership. Adding insult to injury, the party establishment claimed that the rebuke wasn't ideological; that it had more to do with what Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) termed "the asshole factor."
Amash, seen as the ringleader of the House "liberty movement," responded by leading a failed coup against House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in what was supposed to be a rubber-stamped re-election as majority leader. Meanwhile, on a series of crucial votes -- the "fiscal cliff" tax hike in January and the March agreement to raise the debt ceiling -- Amash and several of his uppity libertarian colleagues voted against party leadership. If Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is the leading liberty-movement troublemaker in the United States Senate, Amash is shaping up to be his main counterpart in the House.
Endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus and Young Americans for Liberty, the 33-year-old Amash has made waves by explaining all of his votes on social media, a practice he began during his single term as a Michigan state legislator. He has earned a 100 percent rating from the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, and has taken up where Ron Paul left off on civil liberties.
The son of Syrian and Palestinian immigrants, Amash has made a name for himself as a non-interventionist. "It's very dangerous if we get in the habit of deciding who the good guys are and who the bad guys are," he says of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and other unsavory characters. He's also a social conservative, describing himself as "100 percent pro-life," but opining that ultimately, "marriage is a private contract that has nothing to do with government."
In March, ReasonTV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie interviewed Amash in his office, where the walls are adorned with likenesses of Frederic Bastiat, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Carl Menger, Murray Rothbard, and Ayn Rand.
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Runs about 38 minutes.
Produced by Todd Krainin. Camera Meredith Bragg, Amanda Winkler, and Krainin.