Lost and Found: A Salute to a Woman of Character

12
Ruth Gadebusch

By Ruth Gadebusch

There is hope for revival. The Grand Old Party, as it has been known, is not extinct. It has at least one woman of character and integrity. Can it be revived?

There is a significant group seemingly determined to crush the Republican Party as it has been known. And they are not Democrats! Can it be rescued? Is it worth rescuing? Does a two-party system have a place in this nation’s political world?

For those of us who believe in a two-party system, what an unexpected surprise to learn of Rep. Liz Cheney’s (R–Wyo.) stand, her determination to remind the Republican Party of what it once was and why the effort should be made to resume that role. It would appear she is that rare member of Congress who has actually read and understands that document that we supposedly revere: the Constitution.

For a short while, a very short while, it seemed on Jan. 6 that the nation had a vice president who had sworn to abide by that document and intended to do so. Unfortunately, that promise was short-lived as the man in question has quietly slipped away into the night not to be heard from since leaving his leadership role to the rabble rousers.

Alas, old “what’s his name?” is not alone. There was a time when we women long held hope in Sen. Susan Collins (R–Maine) to carry the torch for our rights before she deserted reason.

Then Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah), showing signs of thinking and knowledge by daring to do just a little less than 100% of unquestioned fealty to that creature who held the title of President of the United States of America for four long years, found himself booed by his own party members. Not a nice place to be even in more tolerant times.

In the blink of an eyelash last summer, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R–S.C.)—the state that saved Joe Biden for us!—danced on the head of a pin trying to have it both ways before reverting to unabashed sycophant to his party leader. In this latter role, I give him credit for not being hypocritical in living and breathing the party line.

Our neighbor to the south, elected as leader of his party in the House of Representatives, is behaving just as would be expected along with the one sent by our own citizens—Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare). Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) has engineered the removal of Cheney from her No. 3 leadership role in the opposition party. All because she dared to admit the election was honest and to the truth of the amply documented happenings of that fateful Jan. 6 when this nation was as near falling as at any time in our history.

I don’t want to be unfair, but there is some indication that Cheney’s party has difficulty accepting strong women. They have solicited an ambitious young woman from New York as a replacement, but she seems to fit the “go along to play” role.

Never mind Cheney’s experience, commitment, dedication and even loyalty that does not disappear with mere questioning a stand or suggesting improvement. What kind of political world has been created when a leader is not allowed to lead by doing more than simply parroting the rabble rousers?

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to find myself supporting Cheney, but character is to be recognized regardless of where it is found. For me, who long considered her father to be the greatest threat to our democracy prior to the appearance of the orange-haired one, it is especially pleasing to be able to find the last standing Republican in the manner of the Grand Old Party.

None of this is to see much hope for the party so determined to force an entire nation into its mold by using any tactic whatsoever to “win.”  I put “win” in quotes because none of us wins with the tactics being used by so many who should know better.

To deny the truth of an election to gain power is not a win. To allow a person of no ethics, no character and no empathy for the less fortunate to be the leader of the party is not a win, even if the role is short-lived. Even worse is to continue to support him when the majority of the citizens have disavowed him. Oops, he never did have a majority.

At least Cheney has stood up to what is today’s Republican Party. May others see the light of day and keep in mind that it does no good to be there if you can’t—don’t?—do the right thing. That applies to both Republicans and Democrats.

I would also remind Republicans that as a member of Congress from thinly populated Wyoming, Cheney carries more power than most other members of Congress. They would be wise to listen to her message.

Because I disagree with many of her issues, I don’t expect to be voting for Cheney any time soon, but I do respect her integrity in recognizing the unadulterated truth of the Jan. 6 Insurrection. I emphasize, the party would do well to listen to her.

Where are all those who should be supporting her? Most assuredly in the interest of bipartisanship/compromise they must open their minds to the reality of the catastrophe of Jan. 6 and to the future that portends for this nation if such an attitude continues.

Cheney is absolutely correct when she advocates that steps be taken to prevent the immediate past president from ever gaining public office again. Note, I did not say “serving” because he did not serve in the sense of protecting us.

Although it would be nice to have the Speaker of the House succeeding Nancy Pelosi (D–San Francisco) be a Californian, our ambitious neighbor to the south (McCarthy) and his allies who deny facts so easily must be reined in.

Our responsibility is to continue what we gained in November 2020 by working with those who have the integrity to speak out for truth, who do more than play to the lowest common denominator of the rabble rousers.

True leaders are more than parrots repeating the lies and emotional reactions of the moment. True leaders teach by using persuasion to change minds. True leaders state the truth even when it means paying the price. Thank you, Liz Cheney, for being a true leader.

*****

Ruth Gadebusch, an emeritus member of the Center for Civic Education Board of Directors, is a former naval officer, trustee of the Fresno Unified School District, president of the Association of California Urban School Boards and vice president of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing with a continuing interest in various community endeavors.