If you were to tell me anytime between 2012 and 2016 that I would be writing an article thanking Senator Mitt Romney for his courage, I would have called you insane. As I am a staunch liberal, Republican Mitt Romney is a symbol of all that I disagree with politically. I would never vote for him because we differ so strongly on fundamental beliefs. However, I can now say in 2020 that I agree with him on two things: President Trump is unlikeable, and he has committed crimes that warrant impeachment.
Ever since watching Romney’s interview with Jimmy Kimmel back in March of 2016, I knew that he was someone to pay attention to in a country divided by politics. He gave witty remarks like, “Got zero? Got zero. The only people who got zero are the ones who paid 25 grand to be at Trump University.” This individual greatly contrasted the bland 2012 presidential nominee I remember. Instead, I saw a man I could admire because he was a Republican speaking out against Trump.
Even after this, I still felt conflicted about the concept of agreeing with him. Romney does not support a woman’s full right to choose. He did not vote to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage but has stated that he believes marriage is an act between a man and a woman. These are only a few of his political stances that I disagree with. Personal values are incredibly relevant because they play a large role in how we express ourselves politically. Yet circumstances like the impeachment should be apolitical, as they are about the core of what is right and wrong in America.
As impeachment and the election of 2020 have been underway my mind has been returning to Romney. Although I thought it would never happen, I had a strange fantasy that he would run against Trump. I was hoping for a dash of drama in a party that is boiling over in delusion. Little did I know that he would go against the party, not by running for president, but by speaking out in something far more historic: the impeachment trial of President Trump.
On Feb. 5, Romney gave a speech that moved many to tears. He stated that he would be the lone voter of his party to vote against the president in the impeachment proceedings. He said, “With my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability. Believing that my country expected it of me. I will only be one name among many. No more, no less. To future generations of Americans who’ll look at the record for this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong. Grievously wrong.”
Politicians often spew out nonsense people wish to hear so that they will be voted for. What Romney declared was truth in spoken word and action. No matter where I disagree with the senator, his action cannot be downplayed. He elected to vote based on his morals, rather than playing it safe to secure his re-election. He voted in favor of what will be seen as the right side of history. He voted for justice, and this aspiring lawyer is relieved that someone in the Republican party still believes in the true rule of law.
In the concluding statements of his speech, Romney said, “We’re all footnotes at best, in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation in liberty and justice that distinction is enough to any citizen.” Unlike your brethren (fellow Republicans), Senator, you have shown a commitment to justice. You have forgone party lines in favor of the values this nation was founded on. As I said, I will never vote for you if given the opportunity, but what I can say for sure is that I respect you for that vote. The amount of guts it takes to be one out of 52 is significant. In a country where you can lose your seat fordoing what is right, I commend you. Senator Romney, you will be more than a footnote in history, and I thank you for listening to your conscience and exemplifying true courage.