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Letter: Political civility should be a priority for Utahns

Attacks against Sen. Mitt Romney for his recent impeachment vote are troubling; not because of differing opinions, but because of the nature of the attacks. These were not merely conflicts of opinion, but blistering personal assaults calling for retribution and criticizing the senator’s faith. These kinds of partisan reactions that demand obedience to one’s party are destructive.

President Trump has repeatedly told his opponents to “read the transcript,” so to anyone who didn’t see Romney’s speech I’ll lightheartedly say, “watch the speech.” I’ve watched it several times and I feel the attacks on his faith have largely mischaracterized his decision.

Each senator swore an oath, before God, to exercise impartial justice. Because of his faith in God, Romney felt this oath was enormously consequential. Hopefully every senator felt their oath was significant. Because of their oath, we expect senators to vote consistent with what they conclude the evidence shows.

Romney spent nearly half of his speech detailing evidence that was presented and his conclusions from it. Because he swore an oath before God, Romney could not in good conscience ignore his conclusion and vote to acquit.

Disagreement over his vote is reasonable, but extreme reactions that resulted are not responses one would hope to see in the land of liberty. Despite disagreement, Sen. Romney has demonstrated respect to his fellow senators and their decisions. The restraint he has shown amid heavy criticism is admirable.

“We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith,” Romney stated.

Utah ranks among the top in the nation in economy, fiscal stability and infrastructure. We should seek to lead the nation in our political civility as well. “We the people” must demand such from ourselves and from those whom we have elected to represent us. Thank you, Sen. Romney, for the way you have carried yourself during the past month.

Spencer Fix