He is the sun in their universe. Tilting his head back and up just a tad, he squints the eyes. The hateful venom pulls at the corner of his lips. His pin-hole sized mouth gets even smaller. The head turns back to the imagined legions of helmeted soldiers with vine-staffs in hand:
You are an embarrassment. Few people have shown such weakness, been so disloyal. I never expected this from you. But you obviously have been poisoned by them. Such a shame, such a shame. What should we do with such a traitor, folks?
The gathered before him, listening to the fall of yet another one of the formerly obeisant, are the chosen because they aren’t close enough to him to be useful for anything more than a vote. They love him and he loves them back. He loves them because they love what he loves the most in the world: himself.
In his universe, everyone is the greatest, the most heroic and extremely (extremely) talented until that moment when they suddenly aren’t. Until that moment when the demands he puts on them for justifying why he is perhaps even greater than God, become humanly impossible to fulfill.
Mike, you have to help pull off a coup. If you don’t, you lose my love. You will pay. The conversation between Pence and Trump might have gone something like this in the lead up to January 6th.
“But, Mr. President, I can’t break the law,” Pence naively pleads trying not to move his head so as not to chase away his buddy “Pal the Fly” — he has named the determined fly. Oh, yes you can, Mike. The law means nothing to me because I am the law, Trump says unsmilingly.
Mike Pence has been called a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a Senator and even the vice president of the United States. On a day in January, the president of the United States told a mob of angry traitors that the vice president has failed them; he might need to be punished, he hinted. The rest is the sad history we know of that day. Pence had to be rushed out of the Capitol Building because many in the crowd were shouting that he should be hung.
“Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us,” Trump told the crowd. “And if it doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country.” Trump’s words had the effect of turning Pence into the enemy. Several insurrectionists shared online that they hoped to kill or wound the vice president, and chants of “Hang Mike Pence” could be heard throughout the Capitol during the riot (Trump tweeted Angrily).
Pence was recently in South Carolina speaking in front of 400 pastors — men of God, they claim. He was bragging about how much good he and Trump did for America. He was telling them about his still close relationship with the former president. A man who after inciting the mob to hunt for him, then never had the decency to inquire how he and his family were after that threat to their lives.
“When the vice president told us he’d spoken to President Trump seven or eight times over the past few weeks, it was clear there was still a connection point between them,” said Dave Wilson, the head of the Palmetto Family Council, which organized a dinner Thursday in Pence’s honor. “There is a great opportunity for people to actually realize and recognize that leadership.”
“There was nothing negative at all said” about Trump, said state Sen. Josh Kimbrell, who had invited Pence to South Carolina (Pence Reemerges).
Nothing that Pence had done in his political life, or life in general, mattered for these God-fearing men. What mattered, however, was that Pence was still loyal to their sun. Regardless of Trump’s complicity on January 6th, or the criminal incompetence in terms of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain as loyal to Trump as they are to Jesus. Forget about all of the vileness of Trump’s four years in the White House, every thing about his character is against the ethos of Jesus Christ.
It’s unnatural, though, to be angry at the sun. When you get sun burned, for example, you don’t curse the sun. The bright ball in the sky, everyone knows, is needed to keep us alive. If you hit the beach with no sun block, or other items to keep its most damaging rays off of you, you blame yourself for being imprudent. You learn the lesson and adjust accordingly. In pain from bright red and burning skin, you will inevitably exit the house the next morning and looking skyward, check the whereabouts of the center of your universe — ah, what a beautiful day, you sigh upon seeing it.
This the only thing I can think to explain why they keep coming back for his punishment. Pence is a dad. Pence is a husband; and, while his fealty for four years boarded on the bizarre, it was also embarrassing. You just wanted to say to him, dude, you are a grown man, you have kids, respect yourself.
On January 6th, Trump even put Pence’s family in danger. That should of been the only reason he needed to issue one statement: Hey Trump, you are an asshole, and when I see you, I will head butt you. No one messes with the family right? This used to be a truism; but in the personality cult that has become the Republican Party, Trump could grab your daughter by those infamous parts he likes to invade without invitation, and you’d smile — you’d feel lucky.
“It’s split. There are some people here who are so much in love with Trump that they are still mad at him,” said Chip Felkel, a longtime South Carolina political strategist. “There are people who say he was on the team, he was a loyal supporter of the president and he got him support where he needed it, but they aren’t quite sure he is the future of the party (Pence Reemerges).”
The sun shines, and at night, when it isn’t, we hope for it to come out the next day. We are drawn to the sun’s power. We innately need the sun; it makes us who we are. The same fully holds true for these 400 pastors in South Carolina; they believe that Donald Trump was sent from God to deliver America from its sin; what better way to do that than to use a man that is the embodiment of the Bible’s most offensive transgressions?
When Trump’s word burns you, you put on a long sleeve shirt and open umbrellas to to protect you from its rays. God created the sun, right? God has sent them Trump; and so, with the same fealty they have for our galaxy’s largest star, they too all worship at the alter of Trump.
It even reminds me of the way Communists in the Soviet Union were always expected to pay homage to Lenin; today, if you want to have a future in the Republican Party, it is advisable to massage your past so that it puts you as close possible to the sun, without getting burned by it.
He [Pence] told a personal story about becoming a Christian in 1978 and liberally quoted Bible verses. “God isn’t done with America yet,” he said (Pence Reemerges).
What they mean by this, is that America’s divine fate can only be realized if Donald Trump is at the helm; if Donald blesses their next leader. Trump, understanding Pence’s ambitions, is probably feeling a little underwhelmed by his former VP’s worship.
While keynoting a weekend conference devoted to Republican unity, Donald Trump braced wealthy party donors with scathing attacks on GOP stalwarts like Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence and others.
Trump again called McConnell “a loser” during his Saturday night speech to the Republican National Committee spring retreat, and criticized Pence — his former vice president — for not backing efforts to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden, according to people in the room (Republican Unity).
Two weeks after Trump trashed Pence, Pence was praising him in front of the pastors. It really makes no sense ever to turn your back on the sun, all that will do is cast a shadow.