Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is a lot of things: a politician, a husband, a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a soon-to-be dad. But he’s also a political outsider of sorts — a conservative who has sparred with Republican peers in recent months after vocally decrying former President Donald Trump’s statements and behavior.
Kinzinger, 43, who recently announced he won’t be running for re-election, was one of only 10 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Kinzinger’s Complex Journey
The truth is, Kinzinger’s current political story is a complicated one. Despite not voting for Trump in 2016, he did cast a ballot for the Republican president in 2020, just two months before choosing to vote to impeach Trump.
“I didn’t vote for him in 2016; I wrote in Evan McMullin. … I obviously wasn’t going to vote for Hillary, because I’m a conservative,” he told Faithwire during a recent interview. “And I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for [Trump then]. I did vote for him in 2020.”
It’s not as though Kinzinger has had some sort of ideological shift along the way. Despite his controversial vote to impeach, he is resolute in his belief that President Joe Biden’s administration has gone too “far left” and has fueled divisiveness and discord in America. He, in fact, believes the administration has been calamitous.
“The Biden administration has been a disaster,” he said unequivocally.
Listen to Kinzinger reveal why he voted to impeach Trump, whether he’ll ever run for president, and what concerns him most about the Biden camp, among other pressing topics:
The Cost Kinzinger Says He Was Willing to Pay
Kinzinger knows his positions on Trump have been controversial, and even unpopular among some Republicans, and he’s aware some don’t understand these stances — yet he feels he has defended truth, regardless of the cost.
“What’s been pretty interesting in last few years is … having to juggle both wanting to tell the truth to people and recognizing that, at this moment, that can cost you — that can cost you an election,” Kinzinger said while discussing the challenges and moral dilemmas politicians like him face. “And you have to make a decision.”
The congressman said he’s not necessarily judging those who have made different decisions from him, and explained there’s a sensitive “balancing act” elected officials have to live with each and every day.
His Christian faith and upbringing, he said, have forced him to think deeper on these matters, particularly the erosion of truth and its replacement with what some see as confusion, half-truths, and overt lies.
Kinzinger also appealed to his Christian upbringing to decry the “infection of conspiracy theories” he sees emerging in some circles and the juxtaposition of that reality with the biblical command to be truthful.
“When lies come up and … when it’s being pushed by your party, you’ve got to speak out,” he said.
Reflecting on His Positions
Kinzinger said the road within the Republican ranks hasn’t been easy, and admitted he’s faced his own internal challenges as he reflects on the decisions he has made of late.
“It’s tough. I would say there have been moments of challenge — the moments of challenge have been, you know, ‘Am I wrong?'” he said. “You do sometimes sit around … as you’re falling asleep and your mind is ping-ponging back and forth like, ‘Am I the one [who’s] out of step here?'”
In those moments, Kinzinger said he goes back to biblical truth to find his footing and to remember the importance of following God where He’s leading.
“You have to know your walk with God. You have to trust what He’s telling you,” he said. “And, ultimately, He may be telling somebody else to do something opposite of you and you’re both in His plan, and it’s sometimes bigger than we understand, but is it a challenge.”
Kinzinger also discussed his military service, why he chose to enter into politics, whether he’d ever run for president and what he really thinks about the Biden administration. Listen to the full interview here.
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