We all have been at that point in life where the price to be paid with our values and morals is more than we are willing to pay. It might happen in the workplace, in a relationship, or during times when we engage with others in sport or community efforts. But when that line is met it demands a person show resolve, and in so doing, their own character.
That is what Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney is now doing. And I am mighty proud of her.
She has made it known she will not fight to hold onto her job as House GOP conference chair. The public feud within the party has made headlines this week and likely will continue doing so until the caucus will do what it seems determined to accomplish. That is, replace her in the No. 3 spot.
The reason the GOP finds itself in such an embarrassing position is that Cheney has told the truth about the baseless claims pushed by Donald Trump about the November 2020 election and the attempted coup at the nation’s Capitol on January 6th. Not only did she stand up with both words and deeds to call out Trump and others with facts, but she has continued to do so.
While she is correct about both the election outcome and the deadly attack in Washington those are not the reasons I post today. Rather she gets credit for making it clear that if holding onto her leadership role requires having to lie or staying quiet, then she knows that is a bridge too far. A price too high to pay. A personal abdication of integrity she will not take.
As such that is why I link her name with another great American, Margaret Chase Smith.
While Smith took on Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy during the era of the ‘Red Scare’ we now witness Cheney standing with resolve during the autocratic moves of Trump and his sycophants. Smith talked about the Declaration of Conscience when she eloquently took McCarthy down several pegs.
Cheney has surely read that speech from 1950 and clearly is following the main points that the Senator made. Namely that in this nation there is a right to criticize, a right to hold unpopular beliefs, and a right of independent thought. Doing so in the protection of the framework of our republic is exactly what we all should want, and demand of our leaders.
The stand that Cheney is taking is a most American one as she is defending the very democratic ideals we were all taught to honor and respect. We should stand with her, politics aside, as this is the type of person we want to serve in Congress. She has the guiding principles of the nation being placed ahead of party loyalty.
And so it goes.