Roger Terry: Romney can be the balance by leaving the GOP

(Screengrab: via Grabien) Sen. Mitt Romney speaks with CNN's Jake Tapper on Nov. 8, 2020

Sen. Romney,

Soon you may find yourself in a unique position to save our government from perpetual gridlock, but it will take more courage than you exhibited in voting to impeach Donald Trump.

In the coming weeks, if we can survive Trump’s attacks on the foundation of our democracy, we will likely have a Democratic House, a Democratic president and a Republican Senate.

The country has many urgent needs, among them economic relief for those ravaged by the raging pandemic, legislation to repair our dysfunctional health care system, immigration reform, investment in our crumbling infrastructure, and serious action to combat global warming.

Unfortunately, as you well know, chances are high that Mitch McConnell will remain Senate majority leader and will do everything he can to prevent the Biden administration from succeeding at addressing any of these serious problems. McConnell is a person much like Trump, who would gladly see people suffer if it helped him score political points and retain power.

I know that you are a man of high values and strong morals. I sense that you are more interested in serving the needs of America, as you perceive them, than in preserving partisan power. This places you in a position to be the hinge upon which the future of our country swings.

It is very possible, if Georgia gives one of its two Senate seats to a Democrat, that McConnell’s majority will be 51 to 49. If this does happen, you can serve the needs of the American people by leaving the GOP, declaring yourself independent and choosing to caucus with the Democrats.

You can also be very open and honest about why you are doing this. It would make Chuck Schumer the Senate majority leader, which would open the door for much-needed legislation and numerous administrative and judicial appointments to reach the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote. It would break the gridlock that could decimate our democracy and harm millions of Americans.

By taking this position, you could also let Schumer know that you would be the gatekeeper to force compromise and prevent extreme measures from being taken, because you would be the deciding vote, always.

You have been a loyal Republican your entire life. You were even the party’s standard-bearer for a short time. Because of and not despite your Republican loyalty, however, perhaps the most loyal action you could possibly take in the coming weeks would be to leave the party in order to save it.

You admitted in recent days what we all know: that Donald Trump is now the face of the GOP.

“He is without question the most powerful voice in our party,” you said. “He’s not disappearing by any means. He’s the 900-pound gorilla when it comes to the Republican Party.”

What this means, though, is that you would not be leaving the GOP. The GOP has already left you. You certainly feel it. With your moral courage and instinct to put country above party, you no longer fit in the Republican Party. It is the party of dishonesty, incompetence, sycophancy, obstruction and anger.

So please do what your country needs you to do. Leave the Republican Party. Become independent. Caucus with the Democrats but, in so doing, force both parties to come to the table and compromise on meaningful, useful legislation. Break the inevitable gridlock that Mitch McConnell would take morbid glee in creating.

Of course, this would be possible only if Georgia gives one Senate seat to the Democrats in the coming runoff elections. If both seats go to Republicans, you will need help. Perhaps you should strike a deal with Susan Collins. Two can play this game.

Of course, this might mean that you would not be reelected. But after your vote on impeachment, you might not win reelection anyway. Somehow I sense that you don’t care. You claim you want to do what’s best for the country, not what’s best for Mitt Romney.

As you put it, the eyes of history are upon you. Let us now see if you really mean it.

Roger Terry

Roger Terry is writer and editor who resides in Orem.

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