Opinion | Liz Cheney isn’t spineless, just soulless


AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

Rep. Liz Cheney speaks Aug. 16, 2022, at a primary Election Day gathering in Jackson, Wyo.

By Grace DeLallo, Assistant Opinions Editor

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming has rocked the nation for her involvement as the one of two GOP members on the Jan. 6 committee responsible for reviewing former President Donald Trump and his allies’ involvement in the Capitol insurrection.

During this time, Cheney has established that her party neglects to hold Trump accountable for his threat to national security and democracy — a stance her fellow Republicans have fiercely criticized. Although there is no evidence that President Joe Biden stole the 2020 election, unsubstantiated claims from politicians and voters regarding fraudulent votes and partisan corruption continue to infect political discourse and weaken the integrity of our nation’s voting system. This is where Cheney strays from her party. 

Now that she’s lost her Wyoming primary due to her outspokenness against Trump, Cheney is looking to Democrats to bolster her reputation for a potential 2024 presidential run. Although Cheney did right by the American people during the House committee, she’s still a soulless politician who — in line with her party’s values — sacrifices the good of the people for her own personal interests. And yes, before you bring it up, there are many Democrats that are also corrupt and could be categorized as “soulless” — I’m looking at you, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — but the majority of the Democratic party is not trying to prevent marriage equality, access to affordable medicines, aid for veterans and easier access to baby formula, among many other pressing issues. 

The perfect illustration of this is to examine some of her recent House votes, in which she voted with the majority of the Republican Party. Cheney and Republicans voted against the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2022, Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021, Protecting Our Kids Act, Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022, the Global Respect Act and so many other advantageous measures that would make the world a better, safer, more affordable place to live. But why?

Well, simply put, Republicans — including Cheney pre-and post-Jan. 6 — have championed for white, heterosexual, cisgender Americans and the capitalist agenda. Pew Research Center data from 2016 reveals that white people, especially white men, increasingly lean toward the GOP, which makes perfect sense, since they can identify with the group that claims to fight for their specific interests. The greatest demographics in the GOP, as reported by Pew in 2020, are white evangelicals, non-college educated white men and rural southerners — typically, groups that prefer reactionary politics and reject societal progression, even when it’s to their own disservice. Although times are changing and more Republicans support same-sex marriage, abortion and other “liberal” issues, there are real-life consequences to past policies and rhetoric that muddy the future for many Americans.

LGBTQ+ children in this nation are being unsafely outed by their school’s staff because politicians are attempting to score political points by championing “parental rights,” even at the expense of the child’s health and safety. There are laws being passed across the nation that criminalize tragic miscarriages and stillbirths, traumatizing grieving parents with the threat of jail time; laws that prevent people from giving voters food and water while they wait to enter their polling station, some with lines that are hours long; and laws that increase our intake of air pollution by not standardizing greenhouse gas emissions around the U.S. 

The fabric of our democracy has been strained for some time, but to witness the ripping of its threads in real time is something so dystopian, it’s hard not to relate it to the Orwellian portrayals we were taught in school. As a country that so purportedly champions freedom, how are we unable to embrace people living their freest lives when it creates no harm for greater society?  

There is no integrity in endangering the lives of LGBTQ+ people. There is no integrity in endangering the lives of pregnant people. There is no integrity in endangering the lives of people of color when denying the existence of racism and xenophobia. There is no integrity in endangering the health of an entire nation, simply on the premise that your personal agenda is enabled to move forward. The greed and hatred enacted by the Republican party is a disgrace to this nation, but one that is not new. This nation’s founding documents were written by a certain kind of people for a certain kind of people. The United States was not made for all of us, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve to take up the space never carved out and demand a future that ensures the safety and happiness of all its citizens.

Republicans must be tolerant if we wish to see any kind of bright future for this country. It’s the absolute bare minimum that a decent human can offer, yet week after week the news is infested with overwhelming acts of malice in the name of a cause that represents a certain kind of person and not the general public. When will the GOP develop a collective consciousness and end their attacks on everyday people simply trying to survive? 

This is not to say that your mom or uncle or high school history teacher who are Republicans are bad people. In my opinion, a bad person is a person who participates, whether that be directly or indirectly, in any attempt to restrict the rights of others. Intentionally trying to distance yourself from a “certain kind of person” based on some fabricated discrimination makes you a bad person. Imagine the kind of world we could live in if politicians fought as hard to make sure people are well educated, have suitable housing, are able to pursue careers of interest and can survive on a livable planet instead of working to give certain people less rights. 

Grace DeLallo writes about social, environmental and political issues. Write to her at [email protected].