by Shelt Garner
I read the huge Truman biography some time ago, and there’s passage where he recounts how at some point around the Korea War how Truman met Gen. MacArthur in the middle of the Pacific. Apparently, after Truman fired the general for wanting to nuke China, he mused that had they died around the time of that meeting each of their legacies would have been far, far different.
Another relevant anecdote is the very well known one about how Steve Jobs seduced John Sculley to leave Pepsi to join Apple. He said something along the lines of, “Do you want to continue to sell sugar water the rest of your life or do you want to change the world?”
So, with that in mind, let me ask Mike Pence a question, “Do you want to be joke or do you want to be a Great Man?” You can change your legacy from the guy with the fly on your head who almost got hanged by your own supporters to the Great American who saved 250 years of American democracy not once, but twice.
Pence is very conspicuous about being a man of God. I was raised in the church and I’m well aware of how important prayer is to people like him. As such, I would suggest to Pence that he take a long, long walk with the Good Lort to get some advice as to his next move.
Here’s where things stand with Pence at the moment. After doing the barest minimum necessary to keep American democracy alive, Pence is well on his way to being fading into political oblivion. Pence, as it stands, will be a joke to the center-Left and a traitor to the MAGA New Right.
And this is where the power of prayer comes in.
I totally disagree with 99% of what he believes politically — but I agree with his faith in American democracy. So much so, that it is very, very obvious that if Pence continues to have any hope of being POTUS one day, he has to change the question.
The question is no longer, “How do I win the Republican nomination?” but, rather, “Am I willing to risk switching parties to be part of a 2024 unity ticket?” The cold hard fact is — Mike Pence is never going to be POTUS if he remains a Republican. By saving American democracy, he has destroyed his political career as a Republican. To be a Republican now, by definition, means to be an autocratic fascist.
So, Pence has a very, very stark choice — drift into political oblivion and or have a greater-than-zero-sum chance at having a bust of him placed in the Capitol Rotunda at some point in the not-so-distant future.
All Pence has to do is do a lot of praying and testify on live TV, under oath before the January 6th Committee and explain what he saw from Election Day 2020 to Certification Day 2021. It might help if he told the public, on a personal level, what it felt like to have his own supporters scream “Hang Mike Pence.”
He would instantly become the Democratic front runner for 2024. The public’s perception of him would change instantly. And, what’s more, he would not have to change a single policy belief. All he would have to do is define himself as defender of American Democracy and be willing to run as part of a Unity Ticket with, maybe AOC as his veep.
Throw in some sort of pre-election power sharing agreement and the rest takes care of himself. Both sides of a very, very politically divided America would be EXTREMLY ANGRY at this arrangement, but for the 100,000 or so people across five swing states who decide American elections, such an arrangement would be catnip.
Independent swing voters — who really decide elections at this point — would love the idea that “both sides” were being represented under such an agremeemt.
Now, there are obvious risks.
One is, that this would be simply not be something that the American political system could process and Pence WOULDN’T be seen as the Democratic front runner as part of some sort of Unity Ticket. Biden is old, but he’s not dead. And he remains very popular within Democratic ranks.
But in 2024, America faces the existential choice of a MAGA Republican themed autocracy or a civil war. And, while Liz Cheney could also serve the purpose of Pence on a Unity Ticket, Pence is the big kahuna. He really could do something amazing and instantly change his legacy — simply by telling the truth.
I do not honestly believe any of this is going to happen. I mean, lulz. But it’s just so frustrating that a solution to the existential problem that faces America is right in front of Mike Pence and yet, even with a walk with the good Lort, he won’t do it.