These days, many proud progressives find themselves doing the once-unthinkable: heralding the work of staunch conservative Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Cheney’s bipartisan co-leadership of the House’s Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol illustrates the importance of a politically diverse alliance to protect future elections and democracy.

For over a month, Americans have been riveted by the committee’s hearings. Led by former career prosecutors, the committee’s thorough investigation has revealed compelling evidence that former president Donald Trump led a wide-ranging conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election result, even though top aides repeatedly, and accurately, told him that Joe Biden had lawfully won. 

Built on lies about election fraud, Trump knowingly unleashed a violent mob on the U.S. Capitol to stop the peaceful transition of power, threatening the lives of his vice president, members of Congress and Capitol police officers. To this day, Trump continues to lead a multi-pronged quest to seize political power by attempting to influence committee witnesses and threaten state officials who follow the law.

As the hearings continue to uncover these facts, Cheney has put country over political party.

Until just a few months ago, Cheney was a top member of House Republican leadership. She had built a long career steeped in conservative ideology and policy priorities. She supported military interventions and torture, opposed abortion rights and marriage equality, and voted against legislation to set federal baseline standards for voting rights and election security, just to name a few.

But when Trump attempted to subvert the Constitution and hold onto power, Cheney rose above party loyalty. She voted to certify the presidential election, and in the days after January 6, she was one of only 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection. Even when the Senate failed to convict Trump, Cheney used her bully pulpit to speak against his unlawful and un-American actions while telling fellow congressional Republicans that Biden was the legitimate president.

Make no mistake, Cheney knew her actions could imperil her own political career, as well as her personal safety. Indeed, her views deeply angered Trump, many of her Wyoming constituents, and other Republicans, including her state party, which censured her. For speaking the truth, Cheney went from being a key member of House leadership to unceremoniously booted from that perch. Several MAGA extremists are now challenging Cheney in the Republican primary for her House seat.

Yet Cheney remains undeterred.

Cheney crystallized our nation’s perilous moment in history at the first committee hearing. She proclaimed: “As Americans, we all have a duty to ensure what happened on January 6 never happens again, to set aside partisan battles to stand together to perpetuate and preserve our great Republic.”

Weeks later, in a rousing speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Cheney again described the stakes: “No party and no people and no nation can defend and perpetuate a constitutional republic if they accept a leader who’s gone to war with the rule of law, with the democratic process, or with a peaceful transition of power, with the Constitution itself.”

Working alongside fellow Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and committee Democrats, Cheney has proven to be a substantive member with a keen grasp of the facts and not prone to grandstanding. Her methodical questioning of witnesses has been critical to presenting evidence to the American people so that they understand the threat that Trump and his extreme MAGA allies pose to our democracy.

At a time of deep political divisions — and with U.S. elections under attack — Cheney’s actions are a model for how Americans from across the political spectrum can unite to help save democracy. Democrats and Republicans have sharp policy disagreements on issues such as healthcare, climate change and gun violence prevention. But policy debates are nearly meaningless unless Americans can agree on basic rules to preserve our republic.

Cheney concluded her Reagan Library speech by saying, “We must love our country, and stand above politics to protect her, and never yield in her defense.” It’s a shame that more Republicans have yet to heed this call and exemplify this leadership.

Constitutional patriots of all political stripes must work together to protect our elections. The future of our democracy depends on it, and the world is watching.