Rep. Liz Cheney Wins Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for Seeking Truth About J6 Capitol Riots
“These honorees have placed their careers and lives on the line to protect democratic principles and free and fair elections. They embody what President Kennedy admired most in others—political courage.” -John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announcement of 2022 award recipients
It was announced Thursday that Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) received the Kennedy Profile in Courage award. It was something many had been suggesting for a while that she had earned because of her journey for justice after the January 6, 2021, volent riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald J. Trump.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library listed the reasons that Ms. Cheney was chosen:
“Prior to the election in 2020, Representative Liz Cheney was elected by her colleagues to be chair of the House Republican Conference, making her the third-ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the highest-ranking Republican woman in the history of the House.
“She has been one of the most conservative members within the Republican Conference. After the election, however, when President Trump falsely claimed that the election was stolen, she repeatedly called on the President to respect the rulings of the courts and his oath of office, and to publicly support the peaceful transfer of power.
“When the President instead rejected the lawful, certified outcome of the election, she broke with most in her party, urged fidelity to the Constitution, and stood her ground with honor and conviction.
“She stood against the lawlessness and violence of January 6th, and voted to impeach President Trump, concluding: “The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing.”
“Cheney received numerous death threats after casting her vote in favor of impeachment, and yet refused to take the politically expedient course that most of her party embraced. Because she would not remain silent or ignore the events of January 6th, Cheney’s congressional colleagues stripped her of her leadership position in the GOP caucus.
“She now serves as the Vice Chair of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, and remains a consistent and courageous voice in defense of democracy.”
Reporter Amy B. Wang at the Washington Post took note of this momentous occasion:
For more than a year, Cheney has led a lonely campaign in the Republican Party against former president Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election, criticizing her GOP colleagues for their attempts at “whitewashing” the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and warning that Trump’s claims are eroding American democracy. She later became one of only two Republicans to join the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
Speaking out against most of her own party has been costly to her: Cheney was ousted from her position as the third-ranking House Republican. She has faced persistent attacks from Trump, as well as death threats and a primary challenge in her reelection race.
And yet, the JFK Foundation stated, Cheney “refused to take the politically expedient course that most of her party embraced.”
Rep. Cheney issued a statement in response to the announcement:
“I’m grateful to the Kennedy Library Foundation for this tremendous honor and for their commitment to freedom and democracy.
“In his Inaugural address in 1961, President Kennedy said, ‘In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.’ Today, we stand at another hour of maximum danger in the cause of freedom. The war between Russia and Ukraine is a battle of good vs. evil, freedom vs. tyranny. President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people are teaching a new generation of Americans what our founding fathers learned first-hand: absolute and uncompromising courage in the face of tyranny.
“In America, we have also seen how fragile our democratic institutions can be, and we have learned that they do not defend themselves. We – each one of us – must do that. If we do not stand for truth, the rule of law and our Constitution, if we set aside our founding principles for the politics of the moment, the miracle of our constitutional republic will slip away.
“As my friend, the late Charles Krauthammer, said: ‘The lesson of our history is that the task of merely maintaining strong and sturdy the structures of a constitutional order is unending, the continuing and ceaseless work of every generation.’ All Americans, regardless of party affiliation, should hold this principle sacred.”
The other four recipients – for the first time this year there were five named to receive the honor – were Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), Arizona House Speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers (R), and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a Fulton County, Georgia, election employee.
Liz Cheney has been ostracized by the Republican Party including a censure from the RNC (Republican National Committee). Yet she continues her work on the January 6 Select Committee to find the truth about that dark day in America’s history. We congratulate her, and thank her for her determined quest to protect the U.S. Constitution and the truth.