Michigan’s third congressional district is tired of Justin Amash, if you listen to the slate of challengers seeking to replace the increasingly unpopular libertarian-leaning representative from Grand Rapids.
Among them are war veteran Tom Norton, state legislator James Lower, and local retail heir Peter Meijer.
The most serious threat to Amash could be war veteran Tom Norton, the most Trumpian of the set, strikes a decidedly more workman-like tone than the others, and seems willing to go a bit further with his rhetoric than the others.
Norton is also a staunch supporter of gun rights, having called on the entire Michigan GOP, including Ronna Romney and Justin Amash, to come out and publicly oppose Red Flag Laws.
Norton is also committed to protecting the lives of the unborn.
Seeking to ride the coattails of his family’s name, Peter Meijer of the Meijer retail fortune, is looking to capitalize on Amash’s seemingly endless series of gaffe’s and NeverTrumpism.
But soon after entering the race, it was revealed that a venue owned by the Meijer family was to host a “Drag Syndrome” performance — a show that celebrates individuals afflicted with Down Syndrome dressing up in drag in the style of the Drag Queen Story Time abomination — at Tanglefoot in Grand Rapids.
After consulting with various stakeholders and advisers, Meijer decided not to hold the event at his venue.
Norton took the opportunity to take Meijer to task for equivocating and taking too much time — Meijer took two days to issue a decision — to make the right decision.
As of this publication, the event is still set for September 8th, according to Grand Rapids Community Media Center’s website.
The Meijer family is still supporting the Drag Syndrome event, according to ArtPrize.
James Lower is a man on a mission.
The 30-year old state representative from Ionia, Michigan is among a passel of challengers taking on anti-Trump Republican congressman Justin Amash in the 3rd congressional district primary in August 2020. In a hotbed of Trump supporters embittered by Washington’s globalist policies, two candidates have become something of working-class heroes: James Lower and Tom Norton.
“People want this guy out. I don’t know why Amash even runs as a Republican,” Lower told Big League Politics on the heels of a wild Squash Amash rally outside Amash’s office. “There was a ton of excitement there. The voters in the district are angry. 80 to 90 percent completely disagree with Amash. After ten years, his voting record just doesn’t make any sense.”
“We were gearing up to run even prior to the impeachment comments,” Lower said of Amash, who joins Democrats in wanting to impeach Trump, and who even cast the only Republican vote against Kate’s Law named for the late Kate Steinle to protect our people from illegal alien crime. “I’ve been totally disenchanted with the fact that he hasn’t gotten anything done, and he always finds some excuse for it. It seems like there’s always an excuse.”
When it comes to Amash, Lower pulls no punches, but his calm Midwest demeanor makes it impossible for him to come off angry. His barbs at Amash, a man Lower views as a hypocrite, seem level-headed, earnest. Just plain real.
In little over a month, Lower has rocketed to national grassroots prominence with the backing of the vaunted Tea Party Strategy Group — a network of win-at-all-costs populist activists who have been making political miracles happen since 2009. Don Trump Junior tweeted out a poll showing Lower in the lead over Amash, hinting, “See you soon Justin…I hear Michigan is beautiful during primary season.” Small-dollar donations are pouring in. As far away as Richmond, the mere mention of Lower’s name drew wild applause at the Virginia Tea Party Summit Saturday attended by Trump’s beloved economist Steve Moore.
“For state rep, I knocked every single door in the primary,” Lower said. “The tea party has always been an anti-establishment party. People try to define it as something it’s not. Trump has proved that it’s just regular everyday people who are fed up with the establishment. That’s what it was going back to 2009 and 2010, and it’s been mis-interpreted.”
“Trump is talking to voters like me in our area that had been completely devastated by NAFTA. He is re-negotiating and putting America First. That’s why there is so much overlap between the Trump Party and the Tea Party,” Lower said.
Lower scoffs at the idea that he is not a loyalist Trump supporter just because he is friends with NeverTrump former lieutenant governor Brian Calley. Lower points to an op-ed he wrote immediately after Trump’s Access Hollywood tape came out in 2016 — when all the NeverTrumpers led by Paul Ryan tried to bounce Trump from the ticket. Lower’s October 22, 2016 op-ed had a simple title: “Why I’m Voting For Trump.”
“Amash came in in 2010, and rode the tea party movement, saying let’s balance the budget. He got a lot of momentum with that. Then the big donor community in the district got behind him, thinking he would be effective. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way,” Lower said. “But he’s got a lot of his own money, he’s been there for ten years, and he can talk a good game in certain circles.”
Asked about the globalist Koch Brothers, who fund an open-borders nonprofit network masquerading as the tea party, Lower bristles, “I haven’t had any dealings with them.”
The Kochs are pushing to censor populist conservatives from the Internet in coordination with Big Tech. Lower is not a fan of wealthy elites. He is more comfortable with the people. Lower also is not a big fan of Amash’s record on the Middle East, which has “earned” Amash a 75 percent approval rating from the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“He’s consistently voted against Israel, be it funding for Israel or any issues related to supporting Israel. What he used was a bogus excuse based on his interpretation of the Constitution,” Lower said.
“We have an opportunity to beat him by a lot, if the race remains how it is. Amash me and Norton I think we end up beating him in a landslide,” Lower said, pointing to a coalition comprised of Second Amendment supporters and most prominently, Trump voters. “That’s what our polling is showing, that’s what third party polling is showing.”
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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