SALT LAKE CITY — Depending on who you ask, Sen. Mitt Romney showed moral courage on the floor of the U.S. Senate during impeachment — or exhibited calculated moral grandstanding.

Although Romney said his religious faith compelled him to vote to convict President Donald Trump of abuse of power and many people praised his speech, others not only denounced his vote but questioned his motives.

“His actions have nothing to do with ‘principles,’” conservative Florida podcaster Dan Bongino tweeted Feb. 16, while former Time magazine editor Richard Stengel wrote, “One person of moral courage can make a majority.”

Research has also shown that people are quick to dismiss virtuous acts by others, said University of Michigan professor David Dunning, known for his research on self-perception.

“What we’ve found is that if you present people with a selfless act, they’re very quick to come up with a selfish reason for it. But they don’t do the reverse. If you give people a selfish act, they’re not very good at coming up with any selfless reasons for why the person might have done that thing,” Dunning said.

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