Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) sounded the alarm Monday in a powerful essay in The Atlantic warning that the nation is “in denial,” and we are ignoring serious threats that could be “cataclysmic” to its very existence.
“When a renowned conservative former federal appellate judge testifies that we are already in a war for our democracy and that January 6, 2021, was a genuine constitutional crisis, MAGA loyalists snicker that he speaks slowly and celebrate that most people weren’t watching,” wrote the frustrated senator.
Romney was referring to the powerful testimony last month before the Jan. 6 House panel by retired Judge J. Michael Luttig. He called Trump and his supporters “a clear and present danger to American democracy” for their attempts to toss out the results of a presidential election they didn’t like, adding, “Our democracy today is on a knife’s edge.”
Romney also pointed to the harm already wreaked by global warming in dangerous droughts, the lack of action on mounting government debt and illegal immigration.
Yet too little is being done to address these serious threats, he wrote.
The “blithe dismissal of potentially cataclysmic threats” is fueled by denial and a “powerful impulse to believe what we hope to be the case” that occurs “across the political spectrum.”
“More and more, we are a nation in denial,” Romney warned. “A classic example of denial comes from Donald Trump: ‘I won in a landslide,’” he noted, quoting the former president.
“Bolstering” that inclination are the “carefully constructed, prejudice-confirming arguments from the usual gang of sophists, grifters, and truth-deniers.”
Romney notes how Americans have lived for decades in a “very forgiving time” with a stable climate and a generally strong economy and democracy, but there’s no margin for major error now.
He is convinced the answer is good leadership. (He has no plans to run for the White House again, he told HuffPost in April.)
He hopes for a president who can “rise above the din to unite us behind the truth.”
“President Joe Biden is a genuinely good man, but he has yet been unable to break through our national malady of denial, deceit and distrust.”
“A return of Donald Trump would feed the sickness, probably rendering it incurable,” he warned.
In the meantime, Romney said it’s up to “fathers and mothers, teachers and nurses, priests and rabbis, businessmen and businesswomen, journalists and pundits” to all rise above our “grievances and resentments” and “grasp the mantle of leadership our country so badly needs.”
Check out the full essay here.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.