“I know the topic tonight, Mr. Speaker, is cancel culture. Tonight, I rise to discuss Freedom and our Constitutional duty to protect it.”

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, from her May 11 speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives

Words I never thought I would hear in America uttered by someone I never thought I would share any commonality with; I was wrong. In that speech, at my age, I found a hero. Someone who knew the cost of her words and said them anyway. I listened, and I even cried at her heroism and her calm conviction as she addressed the body who would decide her future in a leadership role. They did as she anticipated and they voted her out.

She was not the loser, we were. She spoke of the precious freedom we have and how other countries were willing to die for the right to vote while here, we are trying to destroy it. She was horrified by the insurrection that did happen no matter how hard people try to persuade us it was a mere protest. As a past protester, I can assure you I have never broken into a building, trapped a police officer with his own shield, killed another police officer, or caused the deaths of four more people that day, including another officer, or destroyed the Bastian of our freedom, the Capitol Building.

I have stood in quiet protest in that building, struck by awe with its majesty and grateful that as an American, I had the right to peaceful protest. I have met with Representatives and Senators in that building and attended briefings there. It is a place of the Country’s business. It is a place of majesty and commitment to a Democratic Republic. It is the place of Freedom.

And Liz Cheney saw it the way I saw it along with millions of others — it was defiled. Our Capitol was invaded by its own. A sworn enemy would have tried and been thrown into prison but instead of that, weak-spined Representatives and Senators caved to the fear of not being elected and ousted from leadership the bravest example of heroism I have witnessed in a long time. Liz Cheney has voted in ways I would never have supported but if she ran for President, I would be compelled to vote for her.

Many will be shocked by that. You really don’t know me. I was raised to love my country by a man who was 100% disabled by World War II. The Fourth of July was his favorite holiday and we would always have homecoming on that weekend with a grand fireworks show in the back yard. That man didn’t risk his life to see his country so torn today.

As I listened to her speech I could hear him talking. I felt the pain other older veterans like Uncle Junie had to feel watching it, as they all went to hell and back during World War II. I know they never thought they would see that day. And then, when someone in power speaks out on it and with courage and conviction, what happened? They slapped her down.

The lack of civility and professionalism is deplorable by some of our elected officials. I might be very frank with people one on one, but publicly I respect their position. It is my right and my responsibility. How can people support a Marjorie Taylor Greene when they have a Liz Cheney? A woman who talks like she left a bar with one too many beers vs. a Stateswoman. Give me a break.

As a woman, I am angered by the sheer hypocrisy in the actions taken by the male-dominated House as they stripped Cheney of her leadership position. As a citizen I am outraged that our elected leaders lack the courage to deal with the man who will destroy the party he is currently tied to if they don’t deal with him. And as a mother and grandmother, I fear for what this means for my children and their children.

So many times in the past six months I have shaken my head in wonder at the sheer lack of civility and the anger people have toward each other. The phrases used to demean “libtards” and “commies” because you dare to disagree with the end goal — which is and was to restore power to the previous President. That won’t happen; it can’t legally. What will happen if we aren’t careful is the erosion of who we are as a country. Liz Cheney knew that as she called out those who participated with the insurrection. It was an act of war with real war cries and real war crimes.

In the country where I was raised a poor man from Hazard, Kentucky, who could not read or write, signed up for WWII as a young 17 year old (he lied about his age). He came back severally disabled. Yet he married, worked and received his medical treatment from the Veterans Hospital and raised seven children, who then made him grandfather to 11 and great-grandfather to 13. He did that with the help of his veteran’s disability and the benefits for him and his children. The country of freedom offered that to him for his sacrifice.

“God has blessed America, Mr. Speaker. But our freedom only survives if we protect it, if we honor our oaths taken before God, in this chamber, to support and defend the Constitution.” Cheney ended with “our duty is clear.” I challenge you to listen to the speech and hear the ending the way you should in a quiet space alone, with only your thoughts to guide you. From a self-professed liberal to a staunchly conservative Republican, I applaud you, Liz Cheney. Well done, for both your party and your Country.

Barbara Anderson is a local human rights activist. Contact her at barbanderson_1@yahoo.com.

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