Not every day do Americans check their phones with notifications of a final impeachment vote on a modern American president, but then not every day does a sitting U.S. Senator vote to remove a president of his or her own party either. Until yesterday.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, announced that he would vote to convict President Donald Trump, despite being the only Republican senator to do so. This act deserves to be recognized as what it is: a profile in courage.
A “profile in courage” is a phrase coined in 1956 by then-Sen. John F. Kennedy in a book in which he discusses the “problems of political courage in the face of constituent pressures.” In the book, Kennedy describes three types of pressure faced by senators: likability, reelection and interest groups.
Today, Romney exemplified the qualities needed to become a true profile in courage by defying his party, his constituency and his president and voting his conscience, thereby upholding his oath to serve his country.
Romney knew his vote would not remove Trump from office, but he knew the right thing to do was show the nation that this president has not only caused a partisan divide but continues to abuse his power in office. Romney’s actions should serve as an example to our elected officials that they are not a representative of their party, but of their country.
I write this not as a supporter of Romney but as a supporter of political courage and its necessity in modern America. While many people are pessimistic toward politics and its outcomes, I ask my fellow students to become a supporter of political courage as we near the next election season.
Nothing is more important than this, and we must all remember Kennedy’s words when we choose our next leader: “We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve.”
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