History was made on Feb. 5 when Utah Senator Mitt Romney became the first senator to vote to remove a member of his own party from the presidential office.
This vote, which counted against President Donald Trump on one of the two counts of impeachment, had grave repercussions for Romney.
“Unimaginable,” Romney said when asked about what was in store for him, according to a New York Times article.
And they have been. Fox News reports claims of Romney being called “ostracized,” “excommunicated,” a “traitor” and – from Trump’s twitter – “a Democrat secret asset.”
Whether you agree with Romney’s actions or not, what he did – speaking up for what he believed in even with grave consequences – is honorable, especially in today’s political climate.
The pressure to agree with those around you is not a new phenomenon. In 1951, psychologist Soloman Asch completed an experiment that proved the concept of conformity.
Asch set up actors and one test subject with a piece of paper that had different lines on it. He’d then ask a simple question: Which line is the longest?
The actors would all answer with the same incorrect answer. When it came to the test subject’s turn, 75% of participants conformed and also answered incorrectly, according to SimplyPsychology.
This concept also works on larger scales. People agree with and conform to those around them.
I also experienced this in my own life. As a straight, white, middle-class female in St. George, I was not raised around a lot of diversity. Somehow, I grew up to have extremely different political views from the rest of my family.
“Whether you agree with Romney’s actions or not, what he did – speaking up for what he believed in even with grave consequences – is honorable, especially in today’s political climate.”Abby Doman, DSN Staff
It took a long time for me to speak up about our differences. I would keep quiet when elections would come around or when politics would be discussed at the dinner table. It was not until my college years that I understood there is room for both of our opinions.
When looking back at what Romney did, it becomes even more admirable when examining how easy it would have been not to do it and how easy it would have been for him to vote against his conscience and within party lines. He would not have faced political ruin, media backlash or angry family tweets.
Because of this, we should thank him for the things he did do: speaking up for what he believes in and representing his constituents.
We should not be protesting or asking for a recall (which would be unconstitutional anyway). We should be writing a letter to Romney and praising him for speaking up against the crowd.
We can also take a note from Romney’s words and speak up for ourselves a little more as well. It is easy to get sucked into agreeing with those around you, but we are smart, college-educated individuals with critical thinking skills. Just because some say one thing doesn’t mean you can’t say another.
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