I share no political beliefs with Wyoming’s Liz Cheney. I share no political beliefs with Ohio’s Anthony Gonzalez. They are conservative Republicans who believe things I don’t. Who stand for things I don’t. Who support things I don’t.
But sometimes, life is bigger than singular issues.
Sometimes, it’s about righteousness.
In case you missed this, earlier today Ohio Republican Party leaders called on Gonzalez—a former NFL player and newly elected congressman—to resign for voting to impeach Donald Trump. It’s the same thing that’s happening to Cheney in Wyoming; a genuine witch hunt to track down those who dare oppose Dear Leader and send them on their way.
I’ve been a political junkie for decades, and I’ve never seen anything like this. We all saw what happened on Jan. 6, when Trump supporters dressed in Trump gear egged on by, well, Trump, stormed the U.S. Capitol. We all saw Trump watch from afar and … enjoy it. Just watch and bask in the horror. We witnessed the carnage, one and all, and at that moment surely shared a collective sense of American dread and shame.
Since that day, however, only a handful of Republicans (Cheney and Gonzalez among them) placed nation over party. They stood up, knowing the GOP was locked in Trump’s conman grip, and spoke out. Said this wasn’t right. Said this couldn’t be. Said the leader of their party—a man they almost certainly voted for—was culpable.
In short, they chose to be courageous.
In school, we try and teach our children to be leaders. But far too often, those are mere talking points, discarded as soon as we hit adulthood. It happens all the time in corporate America—those who reach the highest levels aren’t the strong, the courageous, the bold. No, it’s middle men who coast along; who create no waves but ride the crest.
The same goes in politics. In the aftermath of 1.6, one Republican after another has crawled toward Trump, begging for a pat on the head. Fuck, you can name them. DeSantis. Cruz. Scott. Gaetz. Greene. Hawley. These are people with big jobs and bigger titles, but sans spines. They surely know what happened at the Capitol, but are driven far more by personal ambition than decency.
Cheney, Gonzalez—again, not folks I tend to side with. But what they’re doing is pure courage. They’re taking a stand, because a stand is needed. They’re speaking out, because someone within the GOP needs to speak out. They are on the wrong side of their party, but the right side of history.
They love America more than Donald Trump.
It has ruined them.
And saved them.