Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced Friday that he will not seek reelection, saying tribalism is ripping apart the political fabric of the country and has so dramatically undermined democratic institutions that “government is the problem.”
The six-term Illinois Republican said the nation’s elected leaders have let him down, and suggested that he believes he will be able to more positively impact the direction of the country by working outside the government to battle the “dividers, the corrupt, and the cynical.”
“Dehumanizing each other has become the norm,” Mr. Kinzinger said in a video posted on social media.
“We have allowed leaders to reach power by selling the false premise that strength comes from degrading others and dehumanizing those that look, act or think differently than we do,” he said.
“As a country, we have fallen for those lies, and now we face a poisoned country filled with outrage blinding our ability to achieve real strength,” the congressman said. “It has become increasingly obvious to me that as a country we must unplug from the mistruths we’ve been fed.”
Mr. Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been one of the most high-profile GOP critics of former President Trump and Mr. Trump’s insistence the 2020 election was stolen.
The 43-year-old was one of 10 Republicans that voted to impeach Mr. Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Mr. Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming are the only Republicans serving on the nine-member select committee on the Jan. 6 attack.
Mr. Kinzinger said he stands in “awe” of the Republicans that voted to impeach Mr. Trump.
“Most importantly, though, I admire those everywhere that put their country above their part in service to their fellow man,” he said.
Mr. Kinzinger said it has become clear to him that he cannot focus on both running for reelection and working to create a different kind of politics.
“I want to make it clear this isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning,” he said.