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Auchter's Art: Whether or not you like Amash, you have to respect him

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

Justin Amash is the current U.S. Representative for Michigan's 3rd congressional district. He was part of the Tea Party wave of Republicans elected in 2010. (I used to draw him as Sarah Palin back then.) He turned out to be a bit more substantive, earning a reputation for being thoughtful and deliberative, holding firm to his beliefs. Some would say (including many of his colleagues) too firm.

By 2019 he finally had enough of Trumpism and left the Republican Party, declaring himself independent. Recently, he aligned himself with the Libertarian Party and announced "the formation of an exploratory committee to seek its presidential nomination," which means he's now running for president.

Rep. Amash was one of the first national politicians to embrace social media as a means of communicating with his constituents, and he's about as transparent as you could hope for a lawmaker to be. Whether or not you like his politics, I think you have to respect him. Case in point, Amash recently had a series of tweets defining his position on state-level "stay-in-place" orders.

For example: Government can’t know what is essential. Every human has the right to earn a living. We can live safely without edicts from the governor.

This aligns with Amash's libertarian views, so points for clarity and consistency. And points off for blind adherence to ideology in the face of a pandemic reality. But that all can be a discussion for another time. The things that really struck me about what Amash said is that (1) he makes a coherent point and (2) he manages to do it being a functional adult (no narcism, no threats, actual words, the whole shabang). Such a low, low bar, and yet it's thrilling to see somebody make it over!

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

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Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.