James Russell Lowell wrote the following words:
Once to every man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
Offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
‘Twixt that darkness and that light.
Today, February 5, 2020, one hundred men and women faced their moment to decide “in the strife of truth and falsehood for the good or evil side.” Fifty-two Senators decided to defend evil and falsehood. Forty-eight chose justice and truth. Some may argue that I’m being partial, and I admit I am guilty of taking sides. How can anyone of intelligence or integrity take the side of the demagogue currently serving in the White House or those who have become his toadies and have disgraced the party of Lincoln? However, in my defense I would point out that many of the Republicans who voted “not guilty” admitted, some on the Senate floor, that Trump was guilty of trying to influence a foreign government to interfere in an American election. They simply decided to ignore this violation of the Constitution to pander to Trump’s base and secure their reelection. They put their own political careers and their allegiance to the most despicable man ever to occupy the Presidency over the welfare and future viability of our democracy. Politicians have always been driven by their own desire to remain in office. And we all know they can be dishonest in their dealings with the public. But what happened today in the U. S. Senate reached a new and despicable low in cowardice, hypocrisy, and corruption.
There was one Senator, however, who took his moment to decide for our nation and its future. And he did so with the utmost courage and integrity. In the past I have disagreed with many of Mitt Romney’s political and economic positions. But today I am driven to admit that his vote on the first article of impeachment was a profile in courage and conscience. He correctly realized that he had taken a solemn vow before God to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America—the same vow the President and all members in Congress take. He knew that he would have to live with himself and his God as well as his children, grandchildren, and all future generations who would recall this moment in our nation’s history. He will be remembered as the only Republican member of the U. S. Senate who decided on the side of truth and justice. He may well pay a political price for his vote. But he will be able to look himself in the mirror and stand before his God knowing at this critical junction he joined a handful of others in our nation’s history who shine like beacons in the dark moments of our fragile experiment with liberty and justice for all. Sadly, the same cannot be said of fifty-two other Senators who lack both courage and integrity.