V.P. Mike Pence - President in Waiting? (#59)
American Vice President Mike Pence professes to be a man of God, and as such he knows the 'Lord' has a 'Plan' for his life, and that plan is ultimately to be the President of the United States. For that day Mike Pence works tirelessly, in humility, bearing all the scorn of the President, the majority of Americans, and the World, as he, without protest or shirking, goes about his daily task of defending the indefensible, blithely overlooking the unacceptable, excusing the inexcusable, and generally cleaning up after the most unsuitable President (in history?), Donald J. Trump. To paraphrase from the movie ‘The Blues Brothers’, Mike Pence is ‘On a Mission from God’. Unfortunately, in pursuit of that goal what he does daily, is astonishingly 'un-Godly'.
Upon being given the opportunity to step on the path to political stardom, incredulously, by hitching his wagon to Trump’s ascending star as the Republican candidate, Mike must have prayed, and upon accepting it as a possible divine intervention in his life for serving God’s, and his, greater purpose, he did not look back but became the most obedient, loyal, embarrassingly fawning, conscienceless apologist for Trump’s worst public utterances and objectionable actions. Since then there is no low quite low enough, nor is there ever a whimper of protestation from the perfect Vice President, Pence, regardless of what Trump says or does.
Coming from a devout Catholic, American-Irish family, who were Democrats, Pence has morphed into - as he likes to put it in public: ‘a Christian, Conservative, Republican, in that order’. And from that he has further evolved into the longer term hope for the Evangelical Christian Far Right to try and recover lost ground on issues that were dear to their hearts, but had been systematically shed and discarded by the majority of increasingly secular Americans.
And when everything looked like it was lost, after all even in their most fervent faithful moments they never would have expected the impossible, Trump beating Hillary Clinton, and actually getting elected, they were saved by a most unlikely savior, the cad-about-town, the morally (and 6 times business-wise) bankrupt real estate developer Donald Trump, whose improbable victory brought them their Man-of-God, Pence. For Trump, the Evangelical Christians and Pence have parked their moral principles on the side, repeatedly overlooked the President’s frequent cringe-worthy character failings, to try and make America puritan again.
And from that day, the Evangelicals have been in Seventh Heaven, and the Trump and Pence duo became ‘heaven sent’ as Liberalism in America got energetically rolled back like the top of a sardine can, with the attached can-opening key.
Since becoming Donald Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence has overcome daily challenges that would have made it impossible for another man, who purportedly lives his life strictly by ‘the Good Book’, to deal with. Yet, Mike Pence handled Trump’s almost daily political, social, moral failings with an undisturbed emotional and physical calm that was unnatural, eerie, dishonest and hypocritical, when tested against the strictures of the social and moral Biblical code that Pence claimed to strictly adhere to. The daily denials of Pence of Trump’s open moral rot, of which pathological lying was but a shallow segment, turned Pence into an ‘empty vessel’ that uncomplainingly accommodated Trump’s constant corruption of truth and normal decency.
When Pence mentioned that he never goes to a dinner with another woman unless accompanied by his wife, to forestall any possible temptation, that extraordinary precaution towards any possibility of moral laxity, rather than making him appear particularly pious and industriously monogamous, made him the subject of utter incredulity in light of his ability to totally accept and defend his Master’s famous and very public lack of commitment to his current and past wives, without so much as a murmur or the slightest hint of disapproval.
That is the glaring contradiction of Pence. A publicly professed pious man supposedly living un-waveringly by ‘the Biblical laws’, but accepting unflinchingly Trump’s unlimited moral deficiencies, his compulsive need to lie relentlessly, and his very public misogyny and racism.
Not only does Mike Pence accept the grotesquely dishonest and thus widely despised Donald Trump without a murmur of protest but in an extremely disturbing twist goes on to be equally dishonest and just as comfortable with daily lying whether to excuse and defend Trump’s latest false or objectionable utterances, or to defend his own or the administration’s involvement in Trump’s latest gaffe. As he so easily and regularly corrupts himself for some personal internal agenda (surely Donald Trump is only a path) one wonders how he justifies the moral corruption even if it is to serve a higher purpose of whatever Master he ultimately serves internally, because externally his actions condemn him as a shameful and rather fulsome hypocrite.
There isn’t a universally accepted (amongst the most educated, advanced societies) humanitarian, social, moral, political and/or patriotic cause that Pence has not been willing to attack, or be complicit to when it is perpetrated by his worldly Master, Trump.
As the Governor of Indiana in March 2015 Pence signed a ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Law’ that allowed businesses to choose not to serve LGBT customers. After an intense nationwide public and business backlash that threatened to cost the State dearly in lost business, Governor Pence had to backtrack a week later, in spite of his open defiance that he wouldn’t, and sign a revised version of the law that rescinded the discriminatory clause.
When the most infamous, and arguably one of the worst and ugliest public statements made by a high level politician, by the then Republican candidate Donald Trump, on tape, bragging about his habitual aggressive sexual abuse of women came out as the ‘Hollywood Access Tapes’, running mate Pence kept silent for a week, purportedly intensely exploring the possibility of replacing Trump as the Republican nominee in a coup, but when that didn’t happen, he since then has always defended Trump’s indefensible statements by insisting that Trump didn’t really mean it and that he is good in his heart, or some such nonsense.
Obviously his ‘God sent’ political opportunity far out-weighed any respect that women were deserving of, any condemnation that even ordinary not-nearly-so-pious men were quick to level at Trump, but not Pence. This was in spite of his wife’s alleged reaction to those tapes being that Trump was ‘reprehensible, vile’. Pence’s, and we suppose his wife’s, as she is his closest advisor, ability to tolerate a ‘reprehensible and vile’ Trump has only increased since those days, as Pence has found it an oft repeated ‘honor’ to serve him as the President.
As Trump ricocheted from one objectionable statement to another, and from scandal to scandal throughout his campaign, Pence as his running mate became as one with the monkeys from the fable, where one sees no evil, the other hears no evil and the last speaks no evil. Because, after Pence decided that being a Vice President to Trump was a possible path to the Presidency, he literally had no objections to any of Trump’s statements no matter how ‘vile’, nor to any of his actions no matter how ‘reprehensible’, nor to any of the steady stream of outright lies that became the defining characteristics of the Trump Presidency.
In fact, the most disturbing thing about Pence as ‘running mate’ and later as the Vice President, was his ability to lie, deny, deceive and defend, on behalf of Trump, on an almost daily basis (because Trump created the opportunity to do so on an almost daily basis).
Mike Pence has denied and defended all of Trump’s lies and objectionable behavior, even the recorded ones, with the unflappable composure of the most hardened, ambition driven, conscienceless, rigorously schooled Machiavellian politician, to whom his own personal principals, religious or otherwise, if there were any. Save, of course, the overarching belief that ‘the end justifies the means’ in the quest for personal goals. There is little concern for propriety in the laser-like focus of Pence, and his non-judgmental pursuit of his goal of being the next President, during or after Trump’s first term.
Publicly, wearing his 'in-your-face' religious beliefs on his considerable political sleeve makes it incumbent on Pence to ‘prove it’ through his daily actions, and so far he has done the exact opposite. Pence as Vice President has proved that he rather ‘layup treasures on earth’ and ‘heaven can wait’, even it means being embarrassingly and unconscionably subservient to Trump, and unflinchingly hypocritical in paying lip service to Biblical precepts of truthfulness, honesty, decency, compassion and selflessness. After all: As the Gospel of Timothy 2 Verses 20 & 24 say:
20 - But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
24 - You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
Mike Pence’s public piety is being profaned by his naked ambition in pursuit of the Presidency. In pursuit of that ambition Pence is willing to sacrifice truthfulness, honesty, compassion for the down-trodden, and the fundamental Scriptural requirement to call out that which is just wrong. In his chosen path to the Presidency, through abject, unquestioning submission to Trump, Pence lives "Faith without Works" and proves his daily hypocrisy.