(This is an open letter I sent May 12 to Rep. Liz Cheney.)
Honorable Rep. Liz Cheney,
Thank you! After the Big Lie knocked the wind out of this country, you told the truth – that the Big Lie was just that, a lie and a BIG one. The truth you first told months ago was “bad” enough. But your real “crime” is that you persisted in telling that same hard truth over and over, trying to warn us all.
It was like rubbing salt into the self-inflicted wounds of your fellow Republicans who scrambled from the House gallery May 11 just before you delivered your impassioned, defiant speech. They fled from your words, slamming their ears shut because if there’s one thing they didn’t want to hear it’s the truth. The truth that the former president lied about an election victory being stolen from him, a claim he made repeatedly even weeks before the election. It was his way of setting the scene for “populist” outrage if he did lose, which in fact he did. Most ego bullies who lose a game lash out by ripping apart anything in sight, spoiling it for everybody else. “If I can’t have it, nobody else can either!”
The “Stolen Election” ploy worked, of course, leading to the daytime nightmare of Jan. 6. The loser riled up a mob that stormed the nation’s Capitol, threatening to kill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and hang Vice President Mike Pence.
Ms. Cheney, you had the good sense to see what was happening. Our democratic system based on free and fair elections, on wins and losses, on the orderly and peaceful transition of power had been directly attacked, all because of a sore loser and the Big Lie he so carefully nurtured and perpetrated, the Big Lie that so many were and still are so eager to believe. It’s doubtful if any congress members truly ever really believed that lie. But when a virtual cult leader/bully hijacks a political party, you’d best do and say as he commands or else you’ll slip from power. And make no mistake, even though the bully is no longer the president, his slavish followers still swallow hook, line, sinker his every crazy notion and bloated conspiracy theory. So they pretend to believe him; they pretend to buy into the Big Lie; they spout nonsense as you, alone among them, tells the truth.
Your speech will likely come to be regarded as a landmark moment in American history. It was a five-alarm warning that every good American should heed. It was the moment when you, a courageous conservative woman, much maligned by your lying colleagues, dared to stand alone and tell the truth that our precious democracy is in deep trouble. The Rule of Law is being blatantly sabotaged. The trust in our electoral process, so vital to our democracy, is being undermined and broken like Humpty Dumpty, and we are left wondering if it can ever be put back together again.
The day after your resounding speech, your colleagues voted to demote you. Sad to say, their stupid, vengeful behavior was predictable. However, hold your head high and please keep speaking up. Maybe one of these days – oh, let us hope! – they who should know better will start hearing your truths, heeding them.
These words of yours should be carved on a marble monument in our nation’s capital:
“Remaining silent and ignoring the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”
Once again, thank you, Rep. Liz Cheney, for your stand-alone courage in defending our democracy that is now under siege by reckless liars and destroyers, all of them manipulated by that sorest of sore losers.