Yet another Republican politician has chosen to leave their party. On Monday, Utah Senator Mark Madsen announced that he was leaving the Republican Party in favor of the Libertarian Party.
At a news conference announcing his exit from the party, Madsen said, “No party is entitled to my membership or my support.”
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Madsen is the first sitting Utah lawmaker to leave their party since 2002. The last politician to switch parties was Rep. Eric Hutchings, who left the Democratic Party to become a Republican.
Madsen said, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, that “the current direction of the Republican Party sometimes ‘makes me want to cry’…’because I’ve invested a lot in that party.'”
In his speech, Madsen expressed frustration with both the Democratic and Republican parties.
‘I am convinced that neither of the old major parties effectively embody the values that founded our country, and founded the state of Utah…In the name of tolerance and compassion, the Democrat Party has embraced a philosophy which often preserves an individual’s right to make a given choice, but wrongly empowers government to step in and deny that individual the consequence of that choice, be it positive or negative.’
‘The Republican Party all too often promotes policies which deny individuals the freedom to make a choice to begin with. Far too often in Utah and our nation, the platform and the actions of the Republican Party have resulted in a population that is less free. Regulation is no longer just a tool for progressives. Rather, the Republicans and Democrats are different on how they are going to regulate, and how to streamline that regulation, but not on the fundamental question of “should government be involved to begin with?”‘
Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark commented on Madsen’s move, saying that it is part of an “accelerating movement” of legislators becoming fed up with the GOP. Sarwark called the GOP “fundamentally broken” and “dying.”
‘After the disaster that we saw in Cleveland, in which a party that was once storied has nominated a reality show star for president, where the convention chairman’s cutting off the microphone of a sitting U.S. senator, it’s broken. It’s fundamentally broken and it’s dying.’
While Madsen made it clear to The Salt Lake Tribune that he does not expect things to be all smooth sailing within his new party, he did note:
‘In the Libertarian Party, I find a lot of people with whom I disagree on any given issue, but the one thing we agree on is it’s not the government’s business, and that’s a great place to be.’
Watch Madsen make his announcement about switching parties in the video below, courtesy of The Salt Lake Tribune via YouTube, and read the full text of his speech here:
Featured image via Facebook.