Heroes from the Hearings

Over the last ten days, we have witnessed three more hearings from the Congressional January 6 Committee. Many people have emerged as heroes, those who have demonstrated unusual courage. In spite of criticisms from their “friends” and enormous peer pressure, they showed their commitment to our country, our constitution, and our people by speaking the truth as they understood it. Like the rest of us, they surely have their flaws. Nevertheless, I mention two of them as worthy heroes whose courage should be emulated. They are Brad Raffensperger and Cassidy Hutchinson.

Raffensperger is a conservative Republican who has served as Georgia’s Secretary of State since 2019. Prior to that office, he was a businessman, a civil engineer, and a representative in Georgia’s House of Representatives representing District 50. No conservative should doubt his credentials nor his integrity. The presidential election of 2020 put that integrity to the test. In his role as Secretary of State, he announced that Biden had won the election, and as a consequence, Georgia’s electors. On January 2, 2021, he received a phone call in which President Trump asked him to “find” 11,780 additional votes, just enough to obtain Georgia’s delegates to the Electoral College. Raffensperger resisted that request. He had analyzed the allegations of voter fraud and concluded Biden had won the state, fair and square. Faithfulness to the truth was more important than “loyalty” to a powerful individual.

On Tuesday, Cassidy Hutchinson was the main witness in that day’s hearing. Although she is only in her mid-twenties, she held a significant role in the White House as an aide to the former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. She is a conservative Republican and was committed to the policies of the Trump administration. Nevertheless, she witnessed important failures of the former president and key members of his team. She came forward and testified, under oath, of what she saw and heard: Trump’s authorization of his supporters to have various weapons at the speech at the Ellipse on January 6, the president’s desire to go to the Capitol that day to protest the certification of Biden’s victory, many key people who requested a presidential pardon for their involvement in the insurrection, mistakes that Meadows committed, plus other pieces of vital information. She testified, in spite of various forms of pressure, including threats upon her life. Loyalty to the truth was more important than covering up for leaders when they make mistakes.

All people, but especially public servants, can learn a lot from these two heroes. The lesson is important for persons of all political persuasions, for Republicans and Democrats alike: truth is important. People in power and political parties frequently demand an absolute “loyalty” from their followers. We have a higher commitment. We are called to walk in the truth and admit our failures. May we draw upon the courage to do so.