I’m old enough to remember hearing this Buck Owens/Roy Clark song on the TV show “Hee Haw” in the 1970s:
Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep dark depression, excessive misery
If I had no bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!
I’m feeling this sense of malaise when I think about our political situation, and I’m thinking about our political situation a lot. Some days, I feel it as strongly as I did on November 9—that stunned, overwhelmed sense of whaaaat haaaapened?
A lot of people say we Anti-Trump/Anti-Pence folks should settle down, forget about it, move past it, move along. That we should stop with the “meaningless” marches and the “overblown” rhetoric, the “endless” Facebook posts, blog entries, and Tweets.
I lived most of my life within a tradition that puts a great deal of emphasis on telling pewsitters, especially those of the female variety, to shut up and do what they’re told. Stop talking. Don’t have opinions, but if you must have them, shhhhhh! don’t say them aloud, and certainly don’t raise your voice while doing so. Those days are over for me and over for millions of Americans who, like me, are growing increasingly angry with this Administration’s bizarre behavior and wrongheaded policy moves.
But let’s talk about the Vice President. He’s why we’re here, after all.
Mr. Pence marched with Pro-Life enthusiasts on Monday. He was the first Vice President to join a March for Life. These few steps—this dancing of attendance on the GOP’s most passionate voters—pads his Messiah resume for that moment when everyone has had enough of Mr. Trump and the Trump presidency shivers, trembles, wobbles, and comes crashing down, as I imagine it will, barring an unforeseen and nearly-unimaginable veering from the Catastrophe-in-the-Making we are all watching with horror.
Mr. Pence will be greeted with global applause for having held things together, having made a good bet that he’d be the one to pick up the shards and rebuild a reasonable-looking White House, minus the crazies. Gone will be Bannon and Kushner and all the Trumplings. Also gone will be that omnipresent fear that Mr. Trump might boot up Joshua and ask him to play global thermnonuclear war.
Optimism begs us to see a brighter hope, that sometime during the next year or so, Trump will go away, quietly or (more likely) shouting his greatness to the heavens. Pence will be there, smiling and ready to plop himself behind the Resolute desk to advance his retrograde cultural ideas. His followers will be giddy with (1) relief that they could vote for Trump, but not actually have to live through an entire term of his leadership, and (2) anticipation that Pence will do his darnedest to implement backwards-facing policies relating to women’s rights, LGBT issues, immigration reform, and on and on. We might not be dead, but we’ll be a generation behind where we are now.