U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney has not let power warp his commitment or character. Utah Republicans understand that Romney has become a trusted public servant thanks to faith and family convictions.
As the impeachment process goes to the Senate, Romney may play a critical role in defining the GOP’s future.
Romney’s public service has been documented in the press while President Donald Trump has withheld his tax and business details from the public. Trump also has denied his links in 2016 with Russian oligarchs. Evidence now suggests that Trump has been working with his attorney Rudy Guiliani and his administration leaders to undermine our next presidential election. Trump does not seem to understand the republic’s checks and balances, the separation of powers, or the rule of law.
This is why Romney’s integrity may help the Senate preserve our republic.
Recent impeachment evidence indicates how Trump and friends worked to hide the truth from the public. This put the GOP in jeopardy as senators weigh a future filled with Twitter and treason.
Unprecedented numbers of Republicans in the House and Senate are frustrated with Trump’s takeover of the GOP. He and the billionaires in his administration have argued that government is the problem. His bullying, lies, and lack of bipartisan policies have encouraged 22 Republicans to retire early.
Voters are tiring, too. November 2020 may be time to recalibrate with civility rather than brutality. All Republicans have been affected by these retirements. They do not want to be left in 2020 with Trump, a delusional party of one.
Opinion polls indicate that voters feel the president should be impeached. Sen. Mitch McConnell asked the president to quit attacking Senate Republicans — for his own good. The growing testimony of corruption and deception may cause GOP senators to vote for impeachment in an effort to restore their party’s integrity. Romney can lead this charge.
This president has demonstrated his inability to learn how to govern. Character deficits of empathy and compassion generate delusions and secrecy. Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon convinced Trump that if he is on TV and Twitter, he is winning. Unfortunately, this bypasses collaboration and building teamwork. There is no bipartisan teamwork or reflecting the needs of voters. The commander-in-tweets fails to represent us, our kids, our communities, or a sustainable climate.
Evidence shows that Cambridge Analytica, owned by GOP leader Ruppert Murdoch and run by Bannon, worked with Russia, without permission, from 70 million Facebook accounts, to “find” 70,000 new Republican voters in 2016. This election interference is documented in the full Mueller report.
Most GOP voters know this is not representative democracy — nor is it Republican politics. This interference and the “do us a favor” conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky suggest a treasonous conspiracy to disrupt our next presidential election and obstruct justice. Most Republicans recognize the apparent attempt to extort President Zelensky. Trump used the same sort of bullying to take over the Republican Party.
But Sen. Romney and other Senate Republicans have had enough. They took an oath to protect the Constitution, our republic, and the rule of law. They understand that we cannot govern the world’s most successful developed democracy with daily mistruths and nightly tweets. Romney understands that our diverse and dynamic republic depends on informed voters, the free press, and our three branches of government.
Senate leaders need to listen to Romney in the impeachment process to build trust and American teamwork while restoring the rule of law.
Bill Mittlefehldt of Duluth is a retired teacher of economics and state energy coordinator whose Cross Currents consulting firm works with communities to build sustainability and resilience (ccurrents.org).