Outgoing VA GOP congressman: ‘Two-party system is really failing’

  • US Rep. Denver Riggleman of Virginia on Sunday lamented the state of American politics on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” questioning the effectiveness of the current two-party system.
  • “I believe duopoly is really, the two-party system is really failing the American people right now,” Riggleman said.
  • Riggleman, a Republican, has been highly critical of the QAnon movement and was a leader in passing a House resolution that condemned the movement.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

GOP Representative Denver Riggleman of Virginia on Sunday lamented the state of American politics, questioning the effectiveness of the current two-party system.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Riggleman if he was still a Republican. Riggleman said that it was “difficult” to be a part of any political party at the moment.

“I’m a Republican, what I thought a constitutional Republican was, but the way the GOP is going in Virginia, it’s very difficult for me to stay with any party,” he said. “I believe duopoly is really, the two-party system is really failing the American people right now.”

In September, Riggleman introduced a bipartisan resolution with Rep. Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat, condemning the QAnon movement, which promotes an array of unfounded internet-based conspiracy theories.

The movement has gained a foothold among a growing number of Republican voters over the past few years, which Riggleman said Sunday he finds deeply concerning.

“QAnon and the conspiracy theories it promotes are a danger and a threat that has no place in our country’s politics,” Riggleman said at the time. “I condemn this movement and urge all Americans to join me in taking this step to exclude them and other extreme conspiracy theories from the national discourse.”

The House overwhelmingly condemned QAnon by a 371-18 vote, with 17 Republicans and one Independent voting against the measure, according to the Washington Post.

Riggleman said on “Meet the Press” the measure was just a small part of addressing the conspiracy movement’s presence among voters.

“If we’re looking at the spread of misinformation as part of something just to pander to a certain subset of voters, I think we’ve lost our way, and that’s the thing that I’ve been talking about,” he said. “A lot of what President Trump has done in this district has been wonderful. But when we start to actually represent as a party…this antisemitic conspiracy theory that believes that there’s some kind of pedophilia cabal on the Democratic side of the House, I think we’re in for a rough ride.”

“Like I said before, these are people that believe ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a documentary,” he added. “And the fact that we’re trying to appeal to them is just ridiculous to me.”

Riggleman, a first-term lawmaker, was defeated in his renomination bid after an outcry arose among social conservatives after he officiated the wedding of two male campaign staffers in Albemarle County, outside of Charlottesville. Bob Good, who for years was affiliated with Liberty University’s Athletic Department, won the nomination in an outdoor drive-through convention this past summer.

Over the past decade, Virginia has shifted from a Republican-leaning swing state to a Democratic-leaning state. Republicans have not won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009 and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is expected to cruise to an easy victory over Trump in the state in November.

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