Cousin Mitt,

You don’t know me, but our families come from virtually the same emigration, religious and genetic roots.

My father was Richard Romney Clawson, son of Shirl Young Clawson and Gertrude May Romney — and apparently we are first cousins thrice removed. My late father was always very proud and complimentary of you, while I, as a first-generation non-Mormon and liberal, have to date been quite critical of you politically, albeit not personally, over the more recent nationally turbulent and defining years.

I didn’t vote for you for president or senator. We obviously have very different views of the needs of the populace and how those needs should be provided. I am an emergency physician, the inventor of the medical 911 process used throughout the world (free healthcare), and co-founder of a now renowned standards organization – the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch — ironically located in the old Deseret News Building downtown.

All that said, this year, among others, has been a real ongoing (almost daily) disturbing political scene regarding “our” president. While not exactly non-biased toward him, I followed the Mueller report and impeachment processes closely — the unfolding of such disturbing facts has been nothing like I have ever experienced in my 72 years on this planet’s surface — including following the Nixon debacle and Clinton impeachment and trial.

To get to the point, I have been astonished and disturbed, but not surprised, by the inexorable and grinding direction of the impeachment outcome that was inevitably unfolding. One thing, however, that stood out to me were the sporadic discussions that began centering on the few (apparently) Republican “fringe” senators who might not be totally going along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s herded outcome.

I had heard so much media “information” about this group’s “concerns,” and if or when they might move in slightly a different direction from the Republican equivalent of the Borg. But in the long run, each one, wiggled and squirmed and eventually caved in before our very eyes. Except you.

Then the end came, and your vote, and all its consequences rocked the national and international scene (I can still recite most of the lyrics to that hymn about “doing what’s right” and “the consequences” you quoted from my younger days at the ward house).

What I want to say is, while not a believer or supporter, that I am proud of you standing up in front of all for what’s right in this single but most important, and now, historical event. Since then, a myriad of my friends have said that it made their day, year, and one, my wife, her century. It was certainly one of the most transformative examples ever of a truly moral victory for the un-powerful — embodied in the end by only you! I’m glad again to be related, and will be so from here on.

Want to have lunch, cousin?

Jeff Clawson

Jeffrey Johnson Romney Clawson, M.D., is medical director, Division of Research, Standards and Academics of the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.