Letter to Mitt Romney


Mitt Romney. Photo by Callen Harty.

Dear Senator Romney,

Thank you. Thank you for taking a moral stand and voting to convict Donald Trump in the impeachment trial. Because it was clear he would be acquitted, it would have been easy to fall in line with all the other Republican Senators who have become cloying sycophants and whose only loyalty is to power and retaining their own seats. You took the high road and the difficult road and there are countless Americans who appreciate that you looked at the evidence, examined your conscience, and voted your heart.

I have not always agreed with your politics. In fact, I protested you when you visited my city during your run for the Presidency back in 2012, and I might very well do so again, despite my admiration for your moral courage at this critical juncture in our nation’s history. You have earned respect by being true to your morals and to the Constitution that you took an oath to defend. If only others in your party-especially those who have publicly admitted Trump’s wrongdoing, who knew that what he had done was wrong and still stood with him–had a scintilla of the moral compass and commitment to do the right thing that you have, this country would be in a lot better shape than it is at present.

I have heard others claim that it was easy for you to do this because the fix was already in, but I think they fail to see the consequences you were willing to suffer. Clearly Trump, McConnell, Graham, and the rest of his minions would not take kindly to one of their own breaking ranks. I expect you will suffer in many ways for your vote, which may include losing committee memberships, the party actively working against you in your next election, and more. One does not take such a stand without the narcissist-in-chief and his apologists striking back.

Thank you again. Thank you for offering a sliver of hope in such a divided country that party is not greater than the common good of the nation. Thank you for taking a stand. Thank you for being willing to sacrifice for what is right. I am confident you will be able to sleep better than the many others who put their own fortunes before the fortunes of this country and its citizens.

About Callen Harty

Originally from Shullsburg, Wisconsin Callen Harty is the author of four books and numerous published essays, poems, and articles. His most recent book is The Stronger Pull, a memoir about coming out in a small town in Wisconsin. His first book was My Queer Life, a compilation of over 30 years worth of writing on living life as a queer man. It includes essays, poems, speeches, monologues, and more. Empty Playground: A Survivor's Story, is a memoir about surviving childhood sex abuse. His play, Invisible Boy, is a narrative with poetic elements and is also an autobiographical look as surviving child sex abuse. All are available on Amazon.com (and three of them on Kindle) or can be ordered through local bookstores, He has written almost two dozen plays and 50 monologues that have been produced. Most of them have been produced at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin where he started as an actor, writer, and director in 1983. He served as the Artistic Director of the theater from 2005-2010. Monologues he wrote for the Wisconsin Veterans’ Museum won him awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the American Association of State and Local History. He has also had essays, poems, and articles published in newspapers and magazines around the country and has taken the top prize in several photo contests. His writing has appeared in Out!, James White Review, Scott Stamp Monthly, Wisconsin State Journal, and elsewhere. He has had several essays published online for Forward Seeking, Life After Hate, and The Progressive. Callen has also been a community activist for many years. He was the co-founder of Young People Caring, UW-Madison’s 10% Society, and Proud Theater. He served as the first President of Young People Caring and as the Artistic Director for Proud Theater for its first five years. He is still an adult mentor for the group. In 2003 he won OutReach’s Man of the Year award for his queer community activism. OutReach is Madison, Wisconsin’s lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community center. He also won a Community Shares of Wisconsin Backyard Hero award for his sex abuse survivor activism work. He has been invited to speak before many community groups, at a roundtable on queer community theater in New York City, and has emceed several events. In 2016, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault named him their annual Courage Award winner for his activism, writing, and speaking on sexual assault.
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