He won’t remember me, but back when I worked at Bain & Co., I interacted with Mitt Romney, when he was running the firm. A bit later, during a summer internship at Bain Capital, which he also was heading, I’d sit in on the weekly staff meetings and watch him in action.
When Romney recently voted as the sole Republican against the President, I listened to his speech. In it, he mentioned his desire to protect the Constitution, as he had sworn an oath to do so. I wasn’t surprised.
In Romney’s faith, there is a saying, I hear, that you always must “choose the right,” no matter the consequences. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. When faced with opposition, one’s mind can do some serious mental gymnastics to rationalize away a major compromise. And, it’s easy to choose the right when there are no consequences, and to avoid choosing the right when consequences are severe.
I’m fortunate in that, in my childhood, I was in a household where people did choose the right and didn’t bend to the vagaries of what was convenient and popular in the moment.
Comedian Stephen Colbert, in the video below, does a great job of articulating how I personally feel. You make a promise to do the right thing, you should do it. Or, don’t take the oath.
As Colbert also said, in another time, Sir Thomas More lost his life for disagreeing with Henry VIII, a tyrant. Tyrants are like that. They punish any dissenters.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) February 6, 2020
I think going against the current has costs. I’m sure Romney feels awful right now, as many Republicans vilify him. But, as he said, his conscience is clear.
That has to be worth quite a bit, in my view.