Alan Gift: Romney’s leadership in the Senate is critical

(J. Scott Applewhite | AP) Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, arrives for a closed meeting with fellow Republicans about the looming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.

An open letter to Sen. Mitt Romney:

I appreciate and admire your moral courage and willingness to look at facts and truth rather than perpetuating the president’s alternative reality. Most Republican lawmakers appear to be enamored of the president’s assertive fiction at the expense of inconvenient reality and personal integrity. Now is a moment in history where your leadership in the Senate and the nation is critical.

In the past, you commented on Donald Trump’s apparent character deficits and his alienating our allies while coddling our enemies. You appear to care about facts and truth, including the damaging effects of Trump’s record-breaking number of blatantly false statements. You have openly criticized those statements most egregiously divisive or racist.

You called yourself a “renegade Republican” in part because of your conviction that the character of a president is essential, while the vast majority of your Republican colleagues either ignore the president’s misdeeds or perpetuate his alternative reality.

You’ve suggested Republicans want to stay in power, that they believe the Republican Party does a better job of running the country than the Democrats can. There is strong opposition among Republican lawmakers, including yourself, to at least some Democratic presidential hopefuls because of their publicly stated left-leaning agendas and fiscally untenable policy proposals.

But what about this moment in history? What about the constitutional crisis posed by Trump’s continued presidency? The nation needs your demonstrated moral and ethical leadership.

We need the American people to understand that that the integrity of our system of checks and balances and the fundamental democratic principles of our constitution are at risk with a continued Trump presidency.

To stay in power, Trump needs to continue deceiving a majority, or near majority, of citizens that vote in this nation, and he needs the continued support of Republican legislators who are complicit, or at the very least complacent, in his deceit.

Sen. Romney, we need you to champion the argument that truth must prevail. We need your fellow Republican senators, at least some of them, to understand that being true to the oath of office taken to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” is the weightier matter that now confronts them.

We have a Republican vice president, and he must have a conscience, even if it has been eroded by life under Trump.

Alan Gift

Alan Gift is a writer and social worker from Ogden.