The Republicans will never break from Trump, right? It’s now fully the party of Trump, right?
Well, maybe not.
This past week, in the aftermath of Trump being impeached on two counts in the House of Representatives, there were three opinion pieces published by conservative groups that are getting a LOT of attention.
First, the day after the impeachment vote, we had Christianity Today publish Trump Should Be Removed from Office. Their focus was, as one would expect, not politics but morality.
“The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”
To say this piece sent shockwaves out into the media would be putting it mildly. The name of the publication trended for two days and everyone was talking about it.
Later that same day, the conservative magazine, the National Review, published Four Tests For Impeachment: And How the President Meets Them. It closes like this:
“The Constitution provides for impeachment and removal to protect us from officials, including presidents, who are unable or unwilling to distinguish between the common good that government is supposed to serve and their own narrow interests. Though he has done some good things in office, Trump is just such a president. Congress should act accordingly.”
And then, an official statement made by Mormon Women for Ethical Government aimed at the four Mormon Senators and started to make the rounds.
“While we speak to all of our fellow citizens and elected officials, we call specifically upon our co-religionists Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) to honor their oaths of office. We remind them that this oath qualifies them for service and was taken in the name of God. The oath of office does not require our representatives to protect the economy, their political party, their seat, their ambition, or even the president. It demands that those sworn to office will uphold the Constitution and fairly adjudicate on behalf of every citizen. We expect them to honor that oath, and we will hold them to account with our votes.”
I know people on our side of the aisle are hungry for signs that the other side isn’t completely brainwashed, and these triple opinion pieces have been received like a drink of water for a person lost in the desert. I am still shocked by the size of the reaction my tweet about the Mormon Women’s piece got:
I’ll admit that it is gratifying to see that there are people who align more naturally with conservatives who are deeply uneasy about this president and his conduct. Although I would have wished that these same folks would have spoken up long, long ago, I sincerely hope that them speaking out now will have an outsized effect.
I had multiple people in the replies to my tweet dismissively say that the letter would not sway any Republicans, but I think focusing on the Senators misses the point.
Three pieces like these, coming one after another, indicates that there might be something bigger happening. How is it that these folks found the courage to speak out? Now that there are three groups speaking out this way, will others find their courage? Are there other conservative or religious groups out there right now talking to their community about how they, too, are uneasy about the president’s actions and are becoming emboldened by the hour?
I sincerely hope so. And please, readers, if you see any new essays like the ones above in your networks, please share them with me. I’d love to amplify them.