At the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, it is time we recognized the true heroes of the Republican Party. They are not the dopey louts who rampaged through our nation’s capitol and the moral cowards who still cover for them. They are not the ranting demagogues exploiting the emotions of the resentful. They were the unsung people not seeking attention, but doing their jobs: from poll workers to police officers. They were Republican state legislators and governors who did not bend to pressure to overturn the elections in their state. They were Republican judges who did not allow mere allegations unsupported by credible evidence to deny votes that happened. They were a vice president who stayed loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law above any man. They were Republican congressional representatives and senators who did not fear to try and hold their own president accountable, and dared to stand on their conscience instead of follow the majority in their party. They did not win. But they showed more bravery than the majority in their party who did.
It is Republicans like those who could save the soul of the party from being lost to a band of fascists, if they find the nerve to do so. My father was a lifelong Republican who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the sacrifices that generation made to defeat fascism, I’m glad he was not alive to see his party dishonored by America’s Mussolini.