Justin Amash: Young Libertarians Should Work Inside the GOP

Justin Amash

There is quite the debate going on in the liberty movement as to whether or not libertarians should partner with conservatives and/or Republicans to advance their beliefs. This was part of a discussion that I had with David Boaz, who explained that libertarians could work with conservatives on fiscal issues, but was “uncomfortable” with defining the movement to include conservatives.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who generally votes in a manner consistent with libertarian principles, weighed in on the debate last week, telling a crowd of college students that young libertarians should work within in the Republican Party to advance their views:

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., called for greater youth involvement to unify the libertarian movement and the Republican Party on Feb. 26 at an event hosted by AU College Republicans and AU Young Americans for Liberty in the in the Mary Graydon Center.

Amash emphasized that legislators cannot please everybody, including their own party when voting on issues that cross party lines.

“You’re never going to find people who agree with you on every single issue,” Amash said. “It doesn’t mean that they are sellouts just because they disagree with you on one or two issues. It matters that they have a reason, that they have a principled logic to it.”
Amash also urged today’s youth to get involved with the Republican Party.

“Young people, you are the Republican Party. Don’t forget that,” Amash said. “The people running the show are only there temporarily. One of the critical things going forward is unifying the liberty movement with the Republican Party.”

As noted, this is part of a larger debate currently going on inside the liberty movement, thanks in part to Glenn Beck, who has expressed interest in libertarianism much to the dismay of some purist followers of the philosophy.

While many may want libertarians to remain autonomous, Amash’s comments highlight the arguments made by those who want to see our views brought more into the political sphere where there could be a chance to affect change. While there is much respect given to those who want our philosophy to be autonomous, many believe the only way to advance libertarian views is through working with conservatives on fiscal issues, for example, and using this as an opportunity to educate them on our beliefs on other issues, such as civil and personal liberty.

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