This past year has been a tumultuous one for our nation. We have felt the effects of compromised values, vitriol, racism, heightened tensions between global powers, uncertainty for our future and the future of those we love, violence, death of innocents and the darkening cloud of corruption in the highest ranks of our government.
Yet, in the midst of all of this, we have also seen extraordinary examples of kindness, courage and patriotism. Because the voices of racism, hatred and misogyny have too often been emboldened over the past months, we must be quick to recognize and praise all that remains good in this world.
Mormon Women for Ethical Government does not endorse candidates, elected leaders or other political figures, but we do reserve the right to applaud ethical leadership when we see it. That kind of leadership has been apparent recently in Congresswoman Mia Love of Utah's 4th District.
Without much support from her Republican colleagues, Love has on several occasions defied prevailing attitudes in an attempt to redeem the traditional values of her party. Though too many of her colleagues willingly (or at times reluctantly) buy into the Trump administration's messaging, Love has taken a strong moral stand on a number of issues, even if that meant standing in opposition to President Trump and many members of her party. Her actions remind us that our branches of government were designed to work independently and to balance and provide checks to one another, a fact that at times seems to have been forgotten.
For example, Love spoke out boldly against Trump's vulgar outburst in January regarding Haiti, El Salvador and several African countries:
"I can't defend the indefensible,” she said. And in another statement, she called on the president to apologize for comments that were “unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values.”
Her response to the tragic deaths of 17 students in yet another mass shooting just last week in Florida further highlights her courage in speaking against the party line and with integrity on controversial issues:
“Everything has to be on the table,” she said. “We have to address the issue. We can't put our heads in the sand and pretend that it’s not happening. We have to fix it, so I’m open to listening to everything.”
We need political leaders who demonstrate that their most deeply held values will not be compromised under the immense political pressure of their office. The examples of a few outliers like Love, Congressman John Curtis, R-Utah, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz. and Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., who are willing to speak truth to power, provides a spark of hope in these strange times. The GOP is not the party it once was, but we catch glimpses of what it used to be and can be again in these members of Congress who courageously put country over party.16 comments on this story
As Mormon Women for Ethical Government, we applaud these leaders and call for respectful, cooperative efforts to find practical and bipartisan solutions in a time that is too often defined by excessive and damaging divisiveness.
Molly Hogan serves as an Immigration committee lead for Mormon Women for Ethical Government, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the ideals of decency, honor, accountability, transparency and justice in governing. MWEG is not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.