It is a strange reality in which the most morally upstanding and reasonable politician in America right now appears to be Mitt Romney. As the rest of the Republican senators voted to acquit Donald Trump of his various crimes (which he definitely committed), Mr Romney stood separate to represent the last vestiges of the morals of a party which has gone completely down the hill. In recent years, the Republicans have been gerrymandering the nation to hell to manipulate their falling vote count; they’ve been pushing populism, racism and hate, and they’ve been backing up and supporting a President who has been committing crimes like he takes golf trips – daily and with no regard for the nation he leads.
When Mr Romney was asked on a Fox News program why he voted to impeach, he said “I’ve got broad enough shoulders to be able to weather personal changes in my career, political or otherwise, but what I don’t have is the capacity to ignore my conscience… What the president did was grievously wrong”. I think this is a brilliantly unusual thing to hear nowadays, the sign of a politician who seems, at least in this moment, to be genuinely acting in the interest of his nation and people.
Mr Trump called for Mr Romney to be kicked out of the party. The chair of the GOP, his own niece, put out a comment insulting him. Seemingly millions of comments are streaming in from the internet denigrating his name. He’s facing a wall of anger and criticism that, while becoming increasingly common in modern politics, is completely undeserving of a man who, unlike every single other Republican senator, is actually holding up the oath of his office and protecting the Constitution.
Nowadays, politics is a particularly dirty art. We don’t often have any reason to believe what any politician says. The Conservative party’s major strategy in 2019 was to say they were going to heal the divide in politics and get people to trust them again, while simultaneously lying constantly. It is brave for a person to stand up and call out the leader of their own party, when every single other Republican is cowering, knowing their vote count could be obliterated by Mr Trump’s active and vicious base. To take this burden, Mr Romney is showing such genuine strength of character and putting his career and political standing at risk, knowing that there would be such intense backlash to his actions.
The Republican party is disgusting. To support them in this day and age is utterly reprehensible. Even more so when that support is based on supporting a President who is almost religious in his fanatical devotion to being an awful person. The Party and their leader are essentially tearing down American democracy and respectability as they pursue power at the expense of every single citizen who lives in the country they’re ruining. Mitt Romney is still a Republican. He still said he supports 80% of what Donald Trump does. But with this action, he has done what all politicians in our age should be aspiring to do, and what very few are living up to, he has made the right choice, for the right reasons, and to paraphrase what he said, we’re all footnotes in the annals of history, but to be among those who were right, is enough for any citizen.