What’s that old proverb/curse about “interesting times”? Well, we certainly are embroiled in our own interesting times. I am not accustomed to saluting or congratulating persons of the Republican Party. But I have to salute several who have chosen to fulfill their oaths of office to preserve and protect our Constitution by defending simple truths.
Congressman Mike Simpson is the latest in this group of courageous and patriotic individuals when he voted to authorize the Jan. 6 commission to investigate the insurrection at the Capitol. Hopefully, he will be able to encourage Sen. Mike Crapo, up for re-election next year, to follow his lead. Sen. Crapo is reportedly leaning in this direction but to date has not decided.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Sen. Mitt Romney are two more public servants who deserve praise for refusing to deny the truth that the election is over, with no significant fraudulent activities discovered. In fact, this election was one that involved the most U.S. citizens voting ever, under the most trying of circumstances, and they did it almost flawlessly. The people spoke. Any of those who don’t like their answer are perpetrating “The Big Lie” we hear about so much in the press today. But understand that this accusation strikes directly at the notion that we the people can, in fact, govern ourselves.
Continued accusations of this nature incite and encourage actions and activities like those we saw in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6. They must stop, locally and nationally. To continue this charade is to perpetuate the idea that a nation of average folks is incapable of conducting an honest and accurate count of the will of those persons. Without this bedrock, fundamental axiom, we would have no legitimate government for anyone to seek or acquire. Without our, or anyone else’s, ability to rely upon this one truth, our whole society crumbles. It is the keystone of our democracy.
In 1956, Sen. John F. Kennedy authored his book “Profiles in Courage” where he highlighted the biographies of eight persons who, in critical times of peril to the nation, took the high road and, at high risk to themselves and their careers, committed significant acts of bravery and integrity that saved the nation we have today.
Once again we find ourselves in trying times. In the hurley-burley of competitive campaigns, it is understandable to have high passions and exuberant responses over the outcomes of any election. But, in the end, we must remember to preserve and protect the game itself. For without the notion of a free people being able to assay their collective wisdom and choices, there can be no democracy for my grandchildren to inherit.
I submit that the individuals I have mentioned, among many others unnamed, should have their own chapters in future versions of our own “Profiles in Courage.” Our society depends upon patriots of this class and nature who have the courage to tell us when our emperors have no clothes.
Dennis Sutton is the Idaho state Democratic Party Region 7 representative and Bonneville County Central Committee Legislative District 33 chair.