Mitt Romney: 'Black Lives Matter'
It appears one Republican senator has finally found a spine.
Utah’s Mitt Romney followed in his father’s footsteps Sunday when he proudly marched for racial justice. On the 13th day of protests since white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered black resident George Floyd on camera, Romney walked the streets with demonstrators and unequivocally declared that Black Lives Matter.
George Romney, Mitt’s father and Michigan governor from 1963 to 1969, also marched for racial equality in the late 1960s.
“Force alone will not eliminate riots. We must eliminate the problems from which they stem,” George once said, according to Mitt’s Twitter feed.
It’s hard to believe in today’s political climate, but there was a time when many Republicans actually stood for racial justice and civil rights. Romney stands out because no other Republican senator has had the wherewithal to say or do anything. Most are unwilling to even speak out when the president has tear gas and rubber bullets fired at peaceful protesters, so he can pose for a photo.
It seems it’s a lot easier these days to find Republican lawmakers who stand for white supremacy, although they’ll use terms and phrases meant to obfuscate that reality, than those who support ending systemic racism.
Romney tried to warn us about Trump four years ago. In the lead up to the 2016 election, The former Massachusetts governor called Trump a phony and a fraud and said his promises were worthless.
Trump, “lacks the temperament to be president,” he said. The failed 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate asked us to think about Trump’s personal qualities: “The bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics. Imagine your children and grandchildren acting the way he does. Would you welcome that?” Romney asked.
Every bit of Romney’s assessment has proven prescient, yet his colleagues on Capitol Hill continue to blindly support this loose canon. They had their chance to get rid of him, and only Romney had the guts to vote to convict in Trump’s impeachment trial.
Everyone else fell in line like they always do, and now we have the worst possible individual in charge to lead us through dueling crises.
It’s inexplicable why Republicans are so terrified of Trump. A pattern has emerged where he shits on them, insults them, torments them, and then they back him up every which way. It’s like they all have Stockholm Syndrome.
During the 2016 campaign, Trump publicly released South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham’s cell phone number and made wild and unfounded accusations against Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s father being involved in the Kennedy assassination. Now, Graham and Cruz are a couple of Trump’s most loyal sycophants.
When reporters ask Republicans about Trump’s obvious transgressions, they usually have one of four responses. They defend it, they claim ignorance, they run off, or they say it’s not their position to judge.
One man now stands alone: Mitt Romney.
For Romney, though, on this issue it isn’t enough to simply demonstrate. He is in the unique position in which he can actually make change happen. Romney needs to follow up his weekend stroll by supporting or even sponsoring legislation to fix police departments across the nation. This is his chance to lead and make a real difference.
Or else, his march will go down as just an empty gesture.