The Prince of darkness. Thus was Dick Cheney, one of the most unpopular figures in the history of American politics, known when he was George W. Bush’s vice-president. Cheney oversaw the first invasion of Iraq as Bush senior’s Secretary of Defense and then promoted the second invasion of Iraq as vice-president to Bush junior. And he looked the part of a villain—patrolling the corridors of power with what looked like a permanent sneer.

His daughter, Liz, a congresswoman from Wyoming, is a chip off the old block, a hawkish ideological neoconservative.

It was therefore something of a surprise when she turned on the current prince of darkness, Donald Trump, supporting his second impeachment. Trump does not appreciate her position and has vowed to get rid of “the Liz Cheneys of the world.” Her view of him is similarly uncompromising: “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” She has gone on to include Trump supporters in her wrath.

Her father approves. According to Liz, “He is just deeply troubled for the country about what we watched President Trump do.”

Some of us might say that there are no heroes here. Any self-respecting politician should oppose the degenerate Trump. But then we don’t have to make a sacrifice. Liz Cheney does. For instance, her chances of re-election—she represents Wyoming, the nation’s most Trump-loving state. And her considerable position in her party—her colleagues stripped her of her position as House Republican Conference chair. She is paying a heavy political price. And this is quite aside from danger to her person. After receiving a series of death threats, she was assigned protection from the Capitol Police, unusual for a politician not in a leadership position.

Opposing your leader is a sacrifice itself in party politics, akin to committing treason. Understandably, it took her a long time to see the light. She voted for Trump’s agenda over 90 percent of the time and against his first impeachment. But see the light she did. One shouldn’t have to be a hero to do the right thing, but such is the state of American politics.

There are suggestions that she might run for president herself in 2024. If I were an American, would I vote for her? Noooo! Way too right-wing. I’ll settle for seconding the words of her father: “As an American, I am deeply grateful to her for defending our Constitution and the rule of law.” As a Canadian who recognizes the importance to our democracy of the United States maintaining its freedoms, I share his gratitude.

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