Edition: 062017 – Words: 1537 – Audio: N/A
No, don’t smirk.. I’m serious here. Just hear (read) me out here. Forget our impassioned passions about the current political scene for the moment.
Since the election our country has been in a political mess. It’s not worth going over the sides to all this.. we all know who we are and where we stand. I’m a bit of a stats guy so I do appreciate polls, especially when most agree, with a margin of error that seems acceptable. Absolutely no question the polls concluded incorrectly the results of the last election. But that will happen simply because people are variable and unpredictable to some measure. But that does not mean polls can’t be trusted at all… if one uses a measure of respect for what can affect them that does not neatly fit into a pollster’s questionnaire.
To walk through my thought process here I came up with two things I think we can all agree on regarding the current state of politics in America.
- Regardless of the reason, I am sure we can agree that the country is very politically divisive. Venomous statements on social media and in the press have been fired at both sides. Some nutcase with a political vendetta just shot up a Republican baseball practice… and there will likely be more violent attacks one way or the other before all this gets settled. As of right now Gallup is reporting a 36% approval rating for the President… suggesting that 64% of the country does not approve. Both sides are steadfast in their opinions. The worrisome thing is that true facts, the one element in critical thinking and problem solving that tend to give convincing arguments toward a cause some measure of credibility, have been made ambiguous through denial, misrepresentation, and just plain impassioned ignorance… from both sides.
- The President is getting way bogged down with the Russian investigation(s) and all the tangent issues, as is Congress. The President will not be able to complete his agenda… and likely not in the manner he would prefer in order to make progress. Even if the investigations find absolutely nothing illegal or improper regarding the President, he is surely destined for continued battle for the rest of his term because not guilty or not… he’s in for a turbulent time and that will result in a slower or nearly impossible ability to meet his agenda.
That 36% approval rating… think about it a moment. It’s certainly a minority when you consider that number is up against 64% disapproval. But that number.. 36%… represents 36% of fellow Americans. That’s over a third of Americans are in a “statistical” minority. That cannot just be ignored or dismissed as a “minority”. There’s a lot of Americans making up that number… who are very passionate and steadfast in their support for the President and his agenda. If we are serious about getting back into a political equilibrium where our divisiveness doesn’t get in the way of simple discourse and debate, and ultimately compromises; where our normal democratic ideals of LISTENING to all sides is encouraged… we can’t dismiss any minority number.
So, what do we do to not only restore political balance , but calm the political tension and caustic anxiety and apprehension, and try and restore a bit of compromise, or in the least an understanding both in Congress and across the nation?
Well… I certainly can’t predict a damn thing going on in Washington any more than the next guy. But for the sake of our discussion here let’s presume for a moment that there is a possibility of Pence taking over the presidency. I’m making no accusations or being critical one way or the other; we are just speculating a “what if” here. No predictions of impeachments or indictments or resignations… nothing. Let’s just entertain the possibility of Pence running the show at some distant date.
The man himself…
Having run for Congress and in being governor of Indiana he’s got a wealth of political experience, knows how the system works. He’s also quite conservative in his views… sticking to the usual Second Amendment freedoms, against abortion, pro-environmental de-regulation, etc. He has a solid anchor in his religious beliefs that are reflected in his political views. He was even a conservative radio talk show host for a few years. A staunch Republican conservative, yet a pronounced politician with decades of experience. Actually more Republican than Trump based on his past accomplishments in public service.
How he might act in the White House toward the Office of the Presidency…
Being a very seasoned politician and having a good grasp on politics he will likely have a more traditional approach as president. No doubt the Trump family will have moved on, leaving adviser appointments open. He would likely make some communications office changes (press secretary, etc.), and make some national security shifts. Most cabinet members would stay, I would guess. Secretary of State would change… Secretary of Defense would stay.
Because of his natural demeanor and professional experience his method of operation would be less confrontational than his predecessor, general communications will be more traditional, and a defined staff pecking order will established.
He will give the impression (and hopefully the reality) of a White House under control and less chaotic. He would likely defer to advisers when necessary rather than taking the helm on all issues. He won’t be afraid to delegate when needed.
How he might shift the political mood, all around…
Right off the bat he will acknowledge the continuance of Trump’s agenda… including everything Trump promised his supporters. The general mood in Washington will gradually shift from the political chaos toward a more traditional and organized environment. As leader of the Republican party he will likely direct the GOP congressional membership toward a more constructive effort, while at the same time encourage working across the aisle by simply communicating and reaching compromise. By this time Congress will be more inclined to start to do the country’s business; opinions will gradually be more accepting.
What about former Trump supporters?
Some will no questionably be vindictive toward those who forced him from office… blaming every conspiracy theory, ex-administrations, and secret entities. They are the ones who just plain wanted Trump to mix things up, thrive on chaos under the idea that Trump is draining the swamp of elites, etc. But those folks have been around in some form or another since the country was born. They are still Americans and we should not dismiss their opinions.. but as time goes on Pence will have to show them that things can be done without being unilaterally confrontational.
Judging from a number of news interviews I’ve seen from those rust belt areas, those folks have more direct concerns regarding loss of jobs, loss of manufacturing, health care, legal and illegal immigration (the wall), and international trade agreements. Pence could very easily assure those people that Trump’s agenda will continue. That does not mean they will readily support his efforts right away. They will need to see how his efforts unfold. Pence has some acceptance collateral with Trump supporters because he was part of Trump’s team from the get-go.
Pence can “make America great again” with a lot less aggressiveness, yet the same determination.
What about Democrats and those so-called anti-Trump liberals?
I firmly believe that most of this group had far greater issues with Trump for personal, moral, and inexperience reasons… and his preference for running the show like a business CEO and contributing to the political chaos. These folks may still debate the Trump agenda vigorously but with a Pence presidency there will be a lot less confrontation and confusion… thus encouraging constructive discourse. Pence is not a “my way or the highway” kinda guy. These folks will be relieved there’s a new president. It’s up to Pence to keep up that momentum.
International politics and working with our allies?
Pence is a natural compromiser and willing to see all sides of issues. Understanding more the need for working with our allies and ultimately have a greater understanding in keeping America “in the game” while still adhering to Trump’s agenda. I believe our allies will again appreciate Pence’s balance and less confrontational approach.
The Russians? Well, there is no way to predict a future with the current mood regarding the Russians. We certainly do not yet know how deep the Russian impact is until after the investigation, in order to understand a future response.
To conclude… in a general election where Pence would be running I’d likely not vote for him at all. I tend to favor more dynamic, yet conservative personalities (not politically conservative necessarily). Still having the vestiges of pre-Trumpian liberal-conservatism within me, I don’t agree with much of the Trump agenda in general. BUT, I am willing to concede that Pence does have considerable assets and a potential to carry the nation past Trump, if necessary.
Carry On, America.