Cassidy Hutchinson, a True Patriot

As Independence Day rollsed around the celebrations of America’s successful revolution against the British monarchy took many forms. Parades, fireworks, hot dogs and burgers on the grill and plenty of red, white, and blue are all taken as signs of patriotism. But then, along comes Cassidy Hutchinson, a 25-year old woman with the courage to stand up to the most powerful men in the country and tell the truth about their nefarious attempted coup. She did it not for personal gain, not for political gain, but to defend the concept of a nation founded on the principles of liberty and justice for all.

When Ms. Hutchinson took the witness stand before the January 6 committee last week she took an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. She then proceeded to do so in testimony that rocked the nation and revealed in critical and well-documented detail from first-hand knowledge just how deep was the plot to overthrow the nation’s legitimate government to keep a corrupt president in power. Referencing the advice from his lawyers, advisors, politicians and electoral officials Trump knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the American people had tired of his chaotic and divisive presidency and voted him out — that he lost the election, and that his accusations of electoral fraud and a “stolen” election were without a shred of credibility.

Make no mistake, Ms. Hutchinson was not some naive bystander to the first attempted coup in American history — she worked two doors down from the president as the top assistant to his Chief of Staff. Her Republican credentials were beyond question or there’s simply no way she would ever have attained her top-level position and her immediate proximity to the president, his closest advisors, and the intimate discussions that would determine the fate of the nation.

When placed on the scale of personal benefit, there’s little doubt that Ms. Hutchinson would have been well-served in a wide variety of ways by taking the conventional path and maintaining the “code of silence” and “loyalty” to the singularly self-focused interests of the man in the Oval Office. Instead of maintaining her “friends in high places” that are so valued by so many, she put her allegiance to the nation before her own self-interests.

Her revelations before the committee left the nation in shock after hearing that the corruption of the Department of Justice was not just contemplated, but actually attempted. That it failed is only attributable to the fact that others, like Ms. Hutchinson, were appalled at the betrayal of the nation by so many of the president’s lackeys and flatly refused to be part of the despicable scheme.

Put bluntly, Ms. Hutchinson’s testimony rocked even long-time supporters of the former president who had tied their political futures to Trump’s corrupt wagon. Fearful of losing the favor and votes of the president’s “base” they did not have the courage exhibited by a 25-year old woman who would not and did not remain silent in the face of a treasonous plot by an unethical man to illegitimately remain in power.

When the flags are flown and the names of those who fought the most powerful nation on earth to establish the United States of America are honored, let us pay homage and gratitude to Cassidy Hutchinson. Like the Founders, she put the dream of democracy that has now endured for nearly two and a half centuries above her personal safety and prosperity — and showed the nation what true patriotism looks like in the year 2022.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Daily Montanan, where this essay originally appeared.