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Romney calls for nation to heal 'social sickness' after four years of Trump

Romney calls for nation to heal 'social sickness' after four years of Trump
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyEx-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress Five takeaways from CPAC 2021 Trump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner MORE (R-Utah), who vigorously warned his party in 2016 not to nominate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE for president, says is time to heal what he calls the nation’s “social sickness” and address the anger that has swelled across the country since the election four years ago.  

“I didn’t think it would happen here. The divisiveness, the resentment, the suspicion, the anger that pervades so many countries seemed foreign to the people I had met during my campaigns only a decade or so ago,” he wrote in an essay for Deseret Magazine.  

Romney warned the resentment, suspicion and anger that has paralyzed other countries is a growing threat to America’s success as “a larger and larger portion of us” are engaging in a culture of divisiveness.

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“The founders took every step they could devise to protect the republic from so-called demagogues; their efforts worked for over 200 years. Several developments have combined to threaten that success,” he wrote.

Romney warned of a series of societal trends exacerbating the nation's problems, from a decline in authoritative and trusted media to lower church attendance. 

“Most disappointing of all, too many political figures have stoked these divisions. Demagogues on the left scapegoat the rich; demagogues on the right scapegoat the immigrant,” he wrote.

Romney argues that the nation can heal its “social sickness” if great leaders call on Americans to heed their better angels, citing Winston Churchill’s calls on his nation to resist Nazism during World War II and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s call to the nation to rally in midst of the Great Depression.

“Who we choose to lead us shapes our society. I believe that it is our national character that made America the greatest nation on earth, that the public personal character of leaders like Washington, Lincoln, Reagan and Truman had more influence on us than even the policies they promoted,” Romney wrote in an implicit rebuke of Trump.

“Today when I vote, I pay as much attention to the character of the candidate as I do to their policies,” he added, in subtle critique of Republicans who have justified their alliance with Trump over the past four years by pointing to tax cuts, deregulation and the confirmation of conservative judge.

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“If we choose leaders who inflame resentment and division, our nation will be angry and divided,” he said.

He also urged Americans to diversify their news sources and not just watch and read sources we tend to agree with.

“If Fox is your regular diet, watch NBC, CNN or ABC now and then,” he said.

He praised news organization such as The New York Time and The Wall Street Journal for checking facts and posting corrections in contrast to social media that “has no fact-checkers, no editors and often doesn’t even disclose who actually wrote a post.”

“I pray for the healing of the nation. Literally. I wish there were more faith in God, more reverence for all of his children,” Romney wrote in conclusion.