I served my country for two and a half years in the halls and tunnels of Congress, employed by a Republican senator from the Mountain West. Certified as a Capitol tour guide, I took dozens of visiting constituents on private tours through the U.S. Capitol building. I took them to the Old Senate Chamber and showed them the desk where abolitionist Sen. Charles Sumner was nearly canned to death by pro-slavery Rep. Preston Brooks before the Civil War in 1856.
I took them to the law enforcement memorial that honored the Capitol Police officers killed by a domestic terrorist in 1998. I took them to the House Chamber, fingering the bullet holes left in the wall by political separatists in 1954. I took them to the Capitol Rotunda and told stories of Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martin Luther King Jr., and more. And as I directed their gaze upward toward the Apotheosis of George Washington, I told them of a man who never wanted to be president, and who definitely never wanted to be king.
George Washington, for all his flaws, gave us the greatest national gift and tradition — the peaceful exchange of power. In the words of Lin Manuel Miranda, he taught us how to say goodbye. Wednesday, that gift was desecrated by a sitting president and his supporters, including Montana's Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Matt Rosendale. For this, my heart grieves mightily. Remember, history has its eyes. God save the Republic.