President Donald Trump released an attack ad video on Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) after he spoke out that he took an oath before God and intended to keep it. He was the only one. What followed was a kind of political crucifixion by Republicans and Fox News.
Instead of celebrating the president's State of the Union address, Fox News spent the night attacking Romney. MAGA Twitter users blew up with their own attacks, egged on by Donald Trump Jr., who was triggered by Romney's speech. He called Romney "bitter" at Trump, because Romney lost the election almost 10 years ago.
Newspapers in Romney's state beg to differ with the president and his mob of digital henchmen. Deseret News called it a paradox that voters demand political courage, but then criticize those who use it.
"That sort of courage deserves recognition, if for no other reason than its apparent rarity in today’s political arena," wrote the Deseret News editorial board. Standing on principle shouldn’t be so scarce it becomes something to laud, but history proves our Congress is subject to ethical deficiency from time to time, and it needs validation for its occasional fortitude."
They also explained that for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), his faith may have called on him to do something different.
For the Salt Lake City Tribune, they noted that Romney could have avoided all of this. Instead, he put his character first.
A whopping 73 percent of Utah residents identify as Christian, the World Atlas cited. So, it's not surprising to see Utah media lining up to defend their senator for putting his oath first, whether they agree with his decision or not.
"He could have voted with the rest of the Republican members of the Senate of the United States to acquit the president of the United States on both of the articles of impeachment brought by the House of Representatives," wrote the Tribune editorial board. "He could have rationalized it — to himself, to his party, to his state, to his family, to history — by noting, as he did Wednesday, that his vote wasn’t going to be the crucial one. But he couldn’t explain it to his conscience."
For many people of faith, one's conscience is a reminder of Godly behavior.
“For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you” The Bible says in II Cor 1:12.
Deseret News contributor Hal Boyd explained in his Romney editorial
During his Fox News appearance, Romney quoted a hymn from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “Do what is right; let the consequence follow.”
He went on to quote Latter-day Saint scripture in an interview with The Atlantic: “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.”
Boyd cited Latter-day Saint thinker Hugh Nibley, who argued that believers should be "beyond politics" because it is a city of man.
"He argued, is at best a distraction from the necessary labors for building up the city of God," Boyd explained. "Others, of course, might respond by pointing to the biblical counsel to the captive Israelites in Babylon: 'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.'”
It was well known that Romney's vote wasn't about to turn the tide on anything. Yet, Romney still couldn't do it.
"The junior senator from Utah could have rested on the fact that he was one of only two Republican senators to vote to call witnesses in the trial," the Tribune continued in their editorial. "He could have said, to us and to history, that he did what he could and, having honorably failed at that, was prepared to vote with the rest of his party to acquit the president and move on.
"But when it was crunch time, Romney just could not avert his eyes from the fact that this president had, without a shadow of a doubt, abused his power as commander and chief."
The Tribune editorial board closed by saying that Romney deserves their support and their thanks for his courage.
So, while Trump and his attack dogs may have started their campaign against Romney four years before the election, at home, it appears Romney is being saluted for bravery and valor.