Home Opinion OPINION: An ode to Mitt Romney

OPINION: An ode to Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is an American hero. No, I don’t regret that he lost to Barack Obama and I don’t think the attacks against him during the campaign were unfair. I disagree with him on most major policy debates, but I believe he has a very clear-eyed view of the threat to this country and an understanding of the dysfunction that permeates our federal government. He also stands up for what he believes regardless of who it rankles. That’s a lot to admire, especially at this time in our history. 

Romney stands in contrast to forces within both parties. The national Democratic Party is a remarkably inept organization that has let itself be defined by its fringe elements at the expense of a broad middle. Despite record job growth, a robust economy, rebuilding our standing the world, and largely ending a pandemic, Joe Biden’s approval ratings keep getting worse. It’s gross incompetence.

The GOP, for its part, has allowed an anti-democratic cancer to grow within it and too few elected Republicans are willing to stand up to it because they’re either part of it, in denial, or cowards. Yesterday, 63 Republican House members voted against a resolution calling for support for NATO “as an alliance founded on democratic principles.” North Carolina House members Dan Bishop, Madison Cawthorn, and Greg Murphy opposed it. (Cawthorn and Bishop also opposed Russian sanctions and ending normal trade with Russia.) The conservative organization CPAC is holding its annual conference in Hungary to celebrate anti-democratic strongman Victor Orban.  

Romney understands that our nation is built on compromise and tolerance. Democracy is the system that allows people who disagree to live peacefully in the same country. Compromise is the basis for our two-party system. Tolerance is the concept that we allow all ideas to flourish, even if we disagree with them. When compromise and tolerance fail, violence fills the void.


Yesterday, Romney announced that he will vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson for Supreme Court, virtually ensuring that she will sit on the highest court. Romney knows that she will make decisions with which he disagrees, but he also knows that she is more than qualified to make those decisions and back them up with rigorous scholarship. That’s tolerance. 

Romney is managing to stand by his democratic principles while standing up against the right flank that’s growing in influence within his party. He seems to understand the stakes and he appears unfazed by criticism or peer pressure. He’s a patriot and example for people of all political persuasions. He’s a man to be admired and respected, regardless of political beliefs. He embodies so much of what we need in leaders today and sadly lack.

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Mills spent 20 years as a political and public affairs consultant. Republished from PoliticsNC.com.