He must be the only person in America with one foot in either camp of the Trump/Amash conflict. But that’s what makes him uniquely interesting among mega-watt right-wing commentators: He’s unpredictable. He’s the only one with a mass following who’d conceivably go from adamantly anti-Trump before the election to pro-Trump (or maybe just anti-anti-Trump) last year to Amash-curious after the congressman from Michigan called for Trump’s impeachment. He’ll tell you one day that there’s too much febrile outrage driving American politics and that he regrets his role in encouraging it and then tell you the next that America is over unless Trump wins in 2020.
Odds that he’ll end up a Bernie-style socialist within 10 years: No worse than 50 percent. This guy’s search for national salvation in politics simply won’t end until he’s exhausted every option.
His admiration for Amash isn’t surprising, though. Beck rose to fame as a libertarian, same as Amash, was a leading voice for smaller government during the tea party era, and has always been weak-kneed for politicians who make a show of hewing to principle. I still remember his disappointment in the fall of 2016, during his anti-Trump period, when Ted Cruz finally endorsed Trump for president. Cruz was Mr. Principle, the man who’d never sell out his beliefs by endorsing a squishy lout like Trump — until he did to protect his own prospects for advancement within the party. Beck was crushed. “It’s my fault for believing men can actually be George Washington,” he lamented afterward. That’s him all over, forever searching for the next George Washington. This week it’s Amash because he had the stones to accuse a president from his own party of an impeachable offense. Even though Beck disagrees with Amash on this issue, even though he supports the president whom Amash opposes, he can’t resist being seduced by a show of principle that nervy.
@justinamash is the man we on the right have waited for my whole life. He has the best conservative voting record in Congress. He does what he says he will do, AND never hides from voters. I hope he runs in 2024. He takes his oath seriously. Thank you JA. https://t.co/OOqy7nAmeR
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) June 2, 2019
He was challenged on that by grumpy Trumpers, of course, and replied by stressing that he wasn’t calling for a primary challenge. He wants Amash to succeed Trump in 2024, not help knock him off next year. 2020 is too important, you see — another Flight 93 election.
2/2 as I have said, the dems cannot win this election. This time it is not hyperbole to say it will be the end of the free world. They literally are saying ‘end of the free market’, ‘end of the 2nd amendment’ let alone abortion on demand. We must stand together. JA run in 2024
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) June 3, 2019
Spoiler: 2024 will turn out to be a “Flight 93 election” too. They’re all Flight 93 elections to activists. The irony of Beck, of all people, pretending otherwise lies in the fact is that he’s one of the most reliably apocalyptic personalities in mainstream right-wing media. He’ll be apocalyptic in 2024 too, particularly with Democrats drifting left. What reason is there to believe that liberals won’t sound more, rather than less, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez five years from now?
And what reason is there to believe there’ll be any more than the usual five percent or so of the right that’s interested in Amash-style libertarianism by then? Both parties increasingly crave bigger government with which to dominate their political opponents; Amash stands out because his voice to the contrary is so lonely. Even if, surprising everyone, the post-Trump GOP grew newly interested in libertarianism, Amash himself would be ruled out as a national figure on grounds of partisan treason towards Trump. That’s what makes his call for impeachment so impressive: At a moment when congressional Republicans fear crossing the president on nearly anything lest it jeopardize their chances in a primary, Amash crossed him on a matter so momentous that rank-and-file Republicans will never forgive him for it. He knowingly sacrificed any future he might have as a national or statewide candidate to accuse Trump of obstruction, just because he was convinced that it was the right thing to do.
Worthy of admiration. But fatal to his standing in the party, whether in 2024 or later. If his dream is to make a splash nationally, he’s better off following Matt Lewis’s advice and running as a protest candidate for president on the Libertarian ticket. He’d be an unusual figure in that role precisely because Trump critics do genuinely admire that he has the courage of his convictions. Some would turn out to vote *for* him, that is, not just against Trump, as would be the case with virtually any other independent in the mix. He might do a bit better than the average protest candidate, which would be concerning for POTUS. Especially in Michigan.