Thank you, Senator Romney.
Those are four words I never thought I'd say. I've disagreed with your stances on many issues and have rarely seen eye-to-eye with you. And yet, in this moment, you've reminded me of something I've long forgotten in this time of strife: courage. It's easy to hide behind the lens of a camera, or the keys of a keyboard, or even the pen of a journal. It's easy to argue one thing when alone while yielding to silence when placed before witnesses. We've seen it time and again, with your fellow Congressional colleagues hiding their true convictions to serve partisan ends. It's easy to yield before a rising storm, to seek shelter until the destruction has passed.
And yet you stood, defiant against the current, willing to place your own reputation and seat on the line. To quote your own statements, "I'm aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision . . . I'm sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters".
And yet, despite all of this, you were willing to do it. You will be recorded as the first senator to ever vote to convict a president of your own party, something that no other senator has done during previous impeachment trials. Your dedication to justice and morality is admirable, something few in this nation seem to personify anymore. You view your constitutional duty with vigor and dedication - not as something to be dismissed but as something to be upheld. Your willingness to place your own self in the way of the President's visceral attacks is something that no other Republican has dared to consider, with the exception of the late John McCain.
In fact, your dedication to your ideals reminds me a lot of the late senator. Both of you sought to become President at one point, not because of personal greed, but because of obligation. You saw the office as a way to repay your debts to the nation that raised you, a chance to help guide the nation in a greater direction. You dedicated your life to this country, to act as a moral compass for all people. This is as clear now as it was when you first ran for President, or when you were first sworn in as a senator. Your dedication to the United States and its principles is truly remarkable and exceptionally rare in these times.
Much like you stand by your conviction to the country, you stand firm by your conviction to God. You spoke yourself of how your oath to God on the matter of impeachment is one you don't take lightly, and to betray it would be a "censure of [your] own conscience". Despite taking the same oath that you yourself took, there were few in that chamber who were willing to stand by their oath to God as firmly as you.
You felt that you had a duty before the nation, and before God, to act. And I, for one, am grateful that you did. Whether or not the President remains in office was never the issue at hand. The issue was whether there would be men from his own side brave enough to stand before him. You have shown me that there remains at least one, and the world is all the better for it.