Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, gave a message encouraging Americans to “defend the Constitution” in his Constitution Day speech Friday morning at the Hinckley Center.
Romney began his speech explaining that the nation’s Founders’ task was to craft a government “that would thread the needle” between autocracy and “pure, runaway democracy.” He said the Founders resolved this issue by creating the Constitution, which was “a radical departure from history.”
“History has reasserted itself with vengeance,” Romney said in his speech sponsored by the Wheatley Institution. He provided two reasons for this, saying that today’s authoritarians are stronger relative to the U.S. than the Soviet Union was in the past. America’s resolve against authoritarianism on one side and pure democracy on the other is not as strong.
Romney provided China, Russia, Syria, Afghanistan’s Taliban and Venezuela as examples of modern authoritarian regimes, discussing the power that they hold. “What’s even more surprising than the appalling brutality of the authoritarian regimes is their relative economic and military strength,” Romney said,
Romney explained that, through its institutions and through the Constitution, America has avoided authoritarianism and pure democracy so far. Romney warned that America’s resolve in following the Constitution’s path is wavering.
Constitutional guardrails are under peril in Washington, Romney said. He provided an example of politicians advocating for eliminating the filibuster, saying that it would forever change the key institution that checks the majority’s power and protects the minority’s power.
Romney provided solutions to protect constitutional freedoms including taking action against China and its “economic might and predatory means” by joining forces with other nations.
The nation can protect its freedoms by modernizing the military, endeavoring to make its businesses more successful and competitive, and investing in new technologies, Romney said.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox moderated a discussion with Romney immediately following his speech. Audience members submitted questions for him to answer.
An audience member asked Romney how the U.S. deals with modern issues that remain unaddressed in the Constitution. Romney said the Constitution provides “ample opportunity” to allow the United States to adjust to the situations it faces today.
Romney closed the discussion saying that Americans are a good people. “The heart of the American people is good and sound.”