Mitt Romney Might be a Leader Without a Party. But He's a Leader Nevertheless | Opinion

I called my mentor recently to complain. I told him about some things people had said about me that were untrue. I felt like I was working so hard to advocate for systems that would better our church, and I was still being misunderstood.

My mentor, Jose Rojas, was a spiritual advisor to Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. What he said, reminded me that people of integrity, do not just fight for the people who agree with them. They fight for the equality of everyone.

"Heather," he said, "leaders lead. They protect the people in their sphere, even when those people don't agree with them. Leaders lead."

His words washed over me, not just because of what it meant for my own experience, but for the questions it plagued me with for our country. America, where have all your leaders gone? Where are the people who don't just stand up for themselves, but stand up for the people who aren't even supporting them? In the current political climate, if you aren't a full-blown Trump supporter, you can no longer be a conservative, and if you aren't "woke" enough for progressives, you can't sit with them either. Who is willing to take care of the people in their sphere, even when those people don't always agree with them? Where are the leaders who are willing to lead?

In an article by Annabelle Timsit published last September, she cites data from a survey of over 60,000 people across fourteen European Union member states and found that the overwhelming majority of Europeans, no longer trust America. The survey asked the question, "whose side should your country take in a conflict between the United States and Russia?" The majority of respondents said "neither". In Austria, only 4 percent of the people said they would side with the US, this despite high tensions and dislike for Russia across Europe. Europeans don't feel like they can trust America more than Russia. America; your global partners needs leaders who can lead.

A 2018 Pew Research study found that the worlds most committed Christians live in Africa and Latin America, this despite the fact that many African and Latin American countries are currently on Trump's travel ban list. Where is the outcry of support by Christians for their international brothers and sisters in Christ? Leaders should lead.

In a tweet by Jon Cooper, the chairman of the Democratic Coalition, he said, "nearly 70 percent of migrants and asylum seekers from El Salvador who were deported by the US have been killed, raped or tortured after returning home — often by the same gangs they were originally fleeing from." 70 percent of the people who were fleeing horrific conditions in their countries, have suffered unimaginable cruelty since being deported. Who is protecting them? Leaders should lead.

The United States was founded on freedom of religion, and yet in May of 2019, 82 percent of American's told Pew that they believed Muslims experience discrimination. Freedom of religion, can't just mean freedom of Christianity. Most Christian's I know, agree that it has to be freedom of religious preference for all. Christian's are stereotypically in favor of a separation of church and state, because we understand that leaders, are supposed to lead. Protection of your religion, is protection of mine.

In another Pew study, it was found that Republicans and Democrats vary widely in how many news sources they think they can trust. Out of thirty media outlets, the majority of Republicans said they could only trust seven of them, while Democrats felt they could trust more than twenty-two. This is a gap that has widened in just five years. No wonder no one is listening to anybody. We aren't even watching the same news. Who in either party will be willing to walk across blurred lines for the common good of us all? We need leaders who can lead.

This week President Trump was acquitted of two articles of impeachment, even though 55 percent of American's said they were in favor of his removal, according to Business Insider. But there was a twist: Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney crossed the aisle, making the vote to convict the President a bipartisan one.

Romney said, "The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a 'high crime and misdemeanor...Yes he did."

Romney cited his faith as a factor in why he decided to be the single Republican to vote in favor of Trump's removal. The fallout from Romneys decision is certainly not over. Donald Trump Jr. tweeted shortly after that Mitt should be banished from the Republican party. "He's now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled..." He said.

Whether you like Romney or not, you'd have to admit, that being willing to stand by your conscience, to do what you feel is best for your Country, even if it could be political suicide for you, took courage. What if Mitt Romney isn't the remnant of the Republican party, what if he is the future? What if his step of courage, inspires others within the party to stand up alongside him?

On February 5, Mitt Romney became the only Republican on Wednesday's floor, to vote against his own party's interest—and very possibly against his own political future— because he believed in acting in our interest instead.

Because leaders lead.

Dr. Heather Thompson Day is Communication Professor at Colorado Christian University, and a contributor to the Barna Group, an evangelical research institution. She can be found blogging on I'm That Wife.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.​​​​​