I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to feel the pressure of hundreds of thousands of people.
So I sympathize with Sen. Jerry Moran in what I expect is a struggle in meeting the expectations — or at least not disappointing them too terribly — of those he represents as a U.S. Senator.
Sometime in the next few weeks, or months, Moran will likely be tested like no other time in his 24 years as a member of Congress, as he engages in the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump.
As a Republican, he will be expected to vote against convicting President Trump of allegedly inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Moran was the first Republican member of Congress from Kansas to recognize Joe Biden as president-elect. Even then, he waited more than two weeks after Biden was officially declared the winner to publicly recognize the fact.
It’s both funny and sad how that has made Moran appear almost courageous, compared to those who continue to perpetuate Trump’s trope that the election was rigged.
My only deduction for Moran holding out is the political backlash he faced by upsetting those so incredibly devoted to a single individual.
The consequences of breaking from Trump have been dire, no doubt, but that may quickly change.
A clue will be whether the effort by ultra-conservatives to dethrone Rep. Liz Cheney comes to pass. Cheney, the third-ranking member of the House, was one of 10 Republicans to vote for impeachment. Cheney said the president betrayed the country and his oath to the Constitution by inciting protesters to attack the Capitol and then did nothing to intervene when things turned violent.
Now, ultra-conservatives want her stripped of her powers.
On the other side of the aisle are more progressive Republicans who admire Cheney’s grit for bucking the groupthink that the party’s fate rests solely with Trump.
In the Senate, things may not be quite as divisive. Only six — all Republicans — voted to challenge the results of the Electoral College last week. I was heartened to hear Moran voice a strong “No!” during that roll call vote, indicating he accepted the election results.
As for the upcoming impeachment trial, Moran will be challenged to keep politics at bay as he considers the evidence. In this case, his long tenure serves him well, emboldening him to vote his conscience.
MOST OF US think the decisions we make don’t carry much weight. We’ll certainly not be voting on whether to impeach a president.
And yet, the decisions we make don’t occur in a vacuum, and have the ability to affect others — and perhaps change their destinies — for good or ill.
Our communities of today are the sum total of decisions and choices made not only by leaders, but each individual man and woman over the course of history.
How we treat our neighbors, fellow business associates, customers, and even strangers, reverberates to unknown depths.
No doubt, Sen. Moran’s weighty responsibilities make him reflect on such things. I’d argue our responsibilities to each other are just as great.