Amy Roberts: Where’s Barry Goldwater when you need him?
A few years ago, if anyone had told me that there would be a time in the near future Americans would need to ration toilet paper and eat cereal for dinner because they couldn’t get to the grocery store before the police curfew went into effect, it’s fair to say I would have been skeptical. Even in my darkest moments after the 2016 election, I really didn’t envision hospital workers wearing garbage bags as protective gear during a global pandemic, Great Depression levels of unemployment and the federal government tear-gassing citizens as they peacefully protested against systemic racism as possible starts to the summer of 2020.
I guess I lacked the imagination needed for how bad things could really get once a narcissistic halfwit with the leadership skills and empathy of a potato started to occupy the White House. (My apologies to all potatoes.) Even if I had been able to imagine this current environment back then, I would have had the audacity to assume other elected officials would intervene and prevent what can only be described as chaotic tyranny. Though it seems I would have been mostly wrong.
When forced, some members of the Republican-controlled Senate will go on record, albeit tepidly, and suggest they “wish the president hadn’t said that” or unenthusiastically nod their head when asked if he should spend less time on Twitter. Not exactly courageous acts of defiance. But aside from these inadequate and infrequent moments, they’ve been complete cowards, entirely willing to sacrifice the country’s dignity in an effort to avoid being the subject of one of Trump’s after-hours rage-tweeting sessions. Their weakness and insecurity would be something to pity if there weren’t so much at stake.
So far, the only Republican senator who isn’t a medical mystery is Mitt Romney. How the others can stand upright without a spine defies science. Every few months Mitt shows up to remind those in his party what decency and integrity look like. He did it when he voted to remove Trump from office; he did it when he criticized the president for his complete incompetence and unpreparedness at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak; and last Sunday he did it again when he marched in Washington, D.C., with protesters and confirmed that, yes, black lives do indeed matter.
Who would have thought Mitt Romney might just be our modern day Barry Goldwater? Of course, that would only be a fair analogy if other GOP senators didn’t need a proctologist to find their heads. In August of 1974 Barry Goldwater told his colleagues: “There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House — today!” And, for the benefit of the nation, his fellow Republican lawmakers agreed.
Just hours later, Goldwater knocked on the door of the Oval Office and told Nixon to pack up his desk. Nixon resigned the following day. This is an improbable scenario to play out now, if for no other reason than it’s unlikely to actually find Trump at work. You’d have to catch him at his country club or perhaps standing in front of a building he’s never been in, holding a book he’s never read. It’s also obvious there is no one he respects enough to listen to, nor is there anyone in the GOP with the required chutzpah to offer a suggestion like this, sans Mitt.
Watching elected officials shrivel at even the most minor threat of adversity is as pitiful as it is pathetic. I could have never imagined grown men and women with skin so thin that they’d happily trade our nation’s reputation to avoid being called a third-grade nickname by someone with the intellect of a marshmallow.
Thankfully, at least one Utah senator values ethics over ego.
Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.
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