I’m a Romney Republican. In fact, Sen. Mitt Romney and I have a lot in common.
Like the senator, I’ve been a Republican all my life, and I’ve even served as a state delegate and precinct chair. Like the senator, I love my family and I’m devoted to my faith. We even form part of the same community: Sen. Romney is my grandmother’s neighbor.
Because of what I see happening in our government, I recently joined Mormon Women for Ethical Government.
I’m pleased that Sen. Romney has been leading the fight to hear from witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial. I hope all Republicans who are true to their faith would do the same.
The American experiment in self-government isn’t just about politics. It has its roots in a Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity. The Bible teaches us that God created all mankind in his image – or, as Thomas Jefferson put it, we are all “created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.”
In America, we protect that God-given equality with the rule of law. Therefore, no one gets special treatment or exemption from the rules – not the newest immigrant or the president of the United States.
Unfortunately, some of Romney’s colleagues are calling for special treatment. The point of a Senate impeachment trial is to get to the truth and let the senators each evaluate for themselves how to vote. But some Senate Republicans are trying to block witnesses from testifying, which would mean essentially cancelling the trial. After all, what is a trial without witnesses and evidence?
Just as convicting the president without hearing evidence would be a gross abuse of power and manifestly unfair, acquitting him without testimony would be unfair to the American people, who deserve the whole truth.
In a way, if the Senate were to acquit Trump without hearing the evidence, it would also be unfair to him, as it would leave a shadow over his personal reputation and his administration and deprive him of the opportunity to clear his name.
No one wanted to face another impeachment – another bitter, partisan process with charges of corruption and malfeasance flying in every direction. But difficult times are opportunities to show character, and we as a country have such an opportunity now.
We can prove that we’re still capable of honesty, of evaluating evidence fairly and independently, even when it’s unpopular.
We can prove that we take our faith seriously, and that we avoid the sin of bearing false witness.
We can prove that we can see beyond ourselves to the generations of Americans yet unborn who rely on us to give them a country united and strong, rather than broken and weakened by bitter partisan squabbles.
LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “I urge you with all the capacity that I have to reach out in a duty that stands beyond the requirements of our everyday lives; that is, to stand strong, even to become a leader in speaking up in behalf of those causes which make our civilization shine and which give comfort and peace to our lives. You can be a leader. You must be a leader, as a member of this Church, in those causes for which this Church stands. Do not let fear overcome your efforts."
Now is the time to stand for truth and righteousness. If Romney shares the sense of faith and family in these troubled times that I do, I have no doubt that he’ll conduct himself in an honest, independent way.
He’s already signaled his ability to be a role model by calling for Ambassador John Bolton to testify in the impeachment trial. I hope he will continue to demand all the facts from as many witnesses as it takes – both for himself as an impeachment juror, and for the country as a whole.
His party may not thank him. The media may not thank him. The president surely will not thank him. But future generations of Americans will. And so will I.
Emily Taylor is a member of Mormon Women for Ethical Government, a mother and a small business owner in Sandy.