Women over 50 are playing a key role in defending democracy while investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Due to their experience, wisdom and leadership, these women are showing the world that success no longer has an expiration date.
Take, for example Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, 55, the vice chair of the committee looking into the 2021 attack and then-President Donald Trump’s potential role. She has stood up against Trump in ways many members of her Republican party have not.
“In our country, we don’t swear an oath to an individual or a political party,” the congresswoman said during her opening remarks during a committee hearing. “I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”
Rep. Cheney has even received support from the left, who might not agree with her on policy, but commend her for standing up to members of her own party. It’s a huge risk, politically. She could very well lose her primary for her Wyoming house seat. But some analysts believe by making such a bold statement to stand up for democracy, she is setting up a path to run for president in 2024, something Rep. Cheney hasn’t publicly ruled out.
Know Your Value is highlighting Rep. Cheney and others as part of its “50 Over 50” initiative to shine a light on women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond who are shattering age and gender norms. This week, in partnership with Forbes, we’re highlighting just a few women, all of them 50 and older, who are defending democracy in the Jan. 6 hearings.
Here are a few other women worth paying attention to:
Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, 74
As a law student in 1974, the Democrat helped the House Judiciary Committee draft its Watergate charges against President Richard Nixon. And now, Rep. Lofgren is one of the four lawyers on the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attacks, and she is taking a leading role.
Rep. Lofgren recently told Know Your Value what she believes is the biggest takeaway from the hearing so far, saying it is incredible about the “depth of the plot and the persistence of the former president in trying to cling to power.” She added, “Even though he knew he lost, even though he knew that the claims of fraud, he was making untrue that he was apparently willing to go to great lengths just to keep power without regard to what the constitution required of him, what the American democracy required of him.”
Ruby Freeman, election worker, 63
Freeman and her daughter recently gave emotional testimony to the committee a few weeks ago. They described an onslaught of online harassment and threats after President Trump and his allies falsely accused her of feeding rigged ballots through voting machines while working for the Fulton County Elections Board on Election Day.
“There is nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere,” said Freeman, who courageously spoke out. “Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American. Not to target one. He targeted me. A proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton County run an election in the middle of a pandemic.”
Nominations for the 2022 Know Your Value and Forbes “50 Over 50” list is open. If you know a woman who is actively stepping into their power in their sixth decade or beyond, we would love to hear from you! Go here for more details.