Justin Amash

George Will on Justin Amash: 'America's most interesting development since November is the Republican Party becoming more interesting'

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Washington Post columnist George Will gives a hearty thumbs-up to a trend we've been following closely here at Reason: the political rise of the "liberty movement" right, particularly its standard-bearer in the House of Representatives, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan). Excerpt:

America's most interesting development since November is the Republican Party becoming more interesting. Consider the congressman from Grand Rapids, Mich., who occupies the seat once held by Gerald Ford, embodiment of vanilla Republicanism. Justin Amash, 33, may seek the Senate seat being vacated by six-term Democrat Carl Levin, who was elected in 1978, two years before Amash was born. […]

He absorbed a libertarian understanding of opportunity from the example of his father, who began his very successful business career by buying stuff from small wholesalers and selling it door-to-door. Amash graduated magna cum laude with an economics degree from the University of Michigan, then earned a law degree there. "Some of my views," he says mildly, "were a little bit different from my Republican peers." He began reading Friedrich Hayek and other representatives of the Austrian school of economics, and less than four years after he left Ann Arbor, he was in Michigan's Legislature, where in his one term he cast the only "no"vote on more than 70 bills. […]

Immediately after Levin announced his retirement, Amash received a late-night text message from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), encouraging him to run. "There's a great coalition over there," Amash says, referring to freshmen Lee, Kentucky's Rand Paul, Wisconsin's Ron Johnson, Arizona's Jeff Flake, South Carolina's Tim Scott, Texas's Ted Cruz, Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey and Florida's Marco Rubio, a group whose average age is 48, 13.5 years less than the average of Senate Republicans.

Last month, when Paul was waging his 13-hour filibuster, Amash made his first visit to the Senate floor and was struck by the contrast with the House, which he says is "good fun" and "loud and boisterous." The Senate would be more so with Amash inside, and Michigan Republicans, having lost six consecutive Senate elections, might reasonably want to try something new.

Whole thing, including an end note of caution, here.

If some of these points sound familiar, maybe that's because you watched Nick Gillespie's interview with Amash at Reason.tv:

George Will has been saying the GOP should get more libertarian for a while now.