Friday, January 8, 2021
Everyone knows what happened this week, but our interpretations vary pretty widely. My blogging absence being noted by friends, and my disgust for Twitter at an all time high, I decided to write some thoughts down elsewhere. With so many thoughts over the past week and more, we’ll see where this goes…
Since the election, Trump and his team have claimed widespread voter fraud that tipped his “landslide victory” in the election for challenger Joe Biden. Considering Biden’s campaign strategy was to stay out of the public eye altogether (presumably to prevent his onslaught of insurmountable gaffes), it wasn’t hard for MAGA-land to believe the claims. In fact, it was harder to believe that Biden, an unenthusiastic, mentally-declining candidate with unenthusiastic support, could’ve garnered 81 million votes, widely surpassing any prior candidate in history’s vote total. I’ve followed the voter fraud narrative, the investigations, the hearings. I have strong pro-Trump opinions on them, which you could pretty easily discern from my Twitter, but it’s enough news cycles old that I won’t belabor my opinions here. Team Trump did everything it legally knew to bring the allegations to light, to trial, to impede states’ certifications, to stop the progress of an official “president elect” designation for Biden. None of them worked. If it could ever be done, it certainly couldn’t be done fast enough, because time has run out.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 was the last ditch effort date. It’s the date the joint session of Congress would convene and count the votes sent in by the electors from the states, officially proclaiming Biden as the winner of the 2020 Presidential election. In truest Trump fashion, he invited MAGA-land to come in droves to the nation’s capital on January 6th for a final signature “Stop the Steal” rally. It would be the biggest, best, most beautiful rally of them all, where, crowd going wild, Trump would explain plainly how he could remain president for 4 more years. With Vice President Pence presiding over the session, Trump told his masses that Pence should merely reject the votes (for AZ, NV, GA, PA, MI, WI) without bringing them before the session. Instead, he should send them back to the states to give them the opportunity to change their certifications based on the widespread fraud. In fact, Trump said, the states WANTED Pence to do this. They knew that their certifications were wrong, and they wanted the chance to decertify and change their electoral vote…according to Trump.
Sidebar: I’m the reddest hat MAGA girl in the midwest. I was at Trump’s inauguration & ball, I’ve been in the front of a crowd of a Trump rally, I’ve watched dozens of his others, I’ve loved most moments of his presidency, and I’ve defended him with enthusiasm. Despite every hesitation I had around his uncouth personality leading into his presidency, his fight for conservative values turned out to be nothing short of heroic, and for that, he earned my fierce loyalty.
I was just as excited to watch the events of the day unfold as the massive crowd south of the White House. I had watched his Monday night Georgia rally, so I already knew most of what was coming in the speech. Accordingly, I was nervous about the immense pressure I knew he’d be laying on Mike Pence, even texting some Pence-centric friends to join me in praying for him, just before the speech started. You see, I was a Pence girl before I was a Trump girl. He was my governor and politically speaking, my gold standard. Living, legislating, and proclaiming Christian values more boldly than any prominent politician in my sphere, and doing it genuinely and naturally, in spite of harsh opposition and pressure to be more mainstream. I just loved it. I was sad to lose him as our Governor, but thrilled that he could bring some sanity and truth into the contentious Trump Whitehouse.
The pressure that Trump laid on Pence during the speech turned out to be worse than I expected. By my estimation, besides being entirely unnecessary, it was a dishonest, disrespectful, and dishonorable type of pressure.
Dishonest: First, Trump already knew exactly what was going to happen in the joint session. The oval office meeting he had with Pence on Monday was widely reported-on. Whatever Pence had decided, he had most certainly already broken that news to the POTUS. But the speech that Trump delivered did not reflect the reality that he knew was to come only a few moments later. On the contrary, it reflected how EASY it SHOULD be for Pence to do what Trump already knew he wouldn’t do.
Second, the states (the ones Trump said WANT their votes to be rejected so that they can reconsider) have vehemently rejected the claims of the Trump team about widespread voter fraud that changed the outcome of their elections. Most of those states have Republican-majority legislatures, and each of those legislatures has contingents of Trump-backers who supported further investigation into the fraud allegations. But, as far as I’ve heard, none of them had majority-significant support. This is similar to the United States Senate, for example, holding narrow majority control of the body, but still voting down the Arizona elector objection 93-6. Some support among Republicans, but not enough. Trump knew the states did not “want their electoral votes back,” but he said it anyway.
Disrespectful: Trump made a particular statement that was either flippantly theologically errant or intentionally so; either way, Christians should have picked up on it and have been appalled by his disrespect for the authority given only to God. “We’re going to see whether or not we have great and courageous leaders or whether we have leaders that should be ashamed of themselves throughout history, throughout eternity,” Trump said, of whether or not Pence would preside in the manner his boss demanded. For me, nothing about “eternity” is flippant. I, Christians, Mike Pence believe, literally, that eternity is wholly dependent on believing in and following one person, one God: Jesus Christ. Those who believe in him for the atonement of sins are eternally secure and will spend eternity in the presence of God in Heaven. Those who do not believe will spend eternity separated from God in Hell. For Trump to suggest that an extreme allegiance to HIM is the way to not be ashamed for eternity, is offensive and self-glorifying – blasphemous. I immediately Tweeted “Approved Workmen are Not Ashamed” (AWANA Club’s title paraphrase from 2 Timothy 2:15). You see, I was not in that oval office meeting on Monday, and I did not know exactly what Mike Pence was going to do. Part of me was holding onto a tiny sliver of hope for a longshot Trump election loophole and that Pence had found some great legal precedent for doing exactly what Trump was suggesting. NONETHELESS, it was at the exact moment of that self aggrandizing, Godless statement by Trump that I was reminded, that IT DOESN’T MATTER what Pence does a few moments from now. I mean, it matters temporally, but it DOES NOT matter eternally. And that gave me relief. Mike Pence is an approved workman of God; as a result, he is not ashamed now, and he will most certainly not be ashamed for eternity, when he is welcomed into the presence of his almighty God. Donald Trump has done a lot of great things for our country, but when it comes to his eternal legacy, he is mere man, a creation, a sinner. No one’s eternity counts on the approval of Donald J. Trump. He, like the rest of us, must be right with Jesus or he will be “ashamed for eternity” as he called it.
Dishonorable: Truly great leaders can shoulder a loss with humility, no matter how difficult or unfair the circumstances. To squarely place the ultimate hope of election upheaval success on Mike Pence was the weakest kind of scapegoating. It reflected disloyalty to a man who was an unwaveringly loyal sidekick to a Trump. Other than his own family, Trump’s advisors were in and out like a revolving door due to his impossible expectations, demands, media/opposition pressures, and perceived disloyalties in communications and actions. Pence weathered them all, and he did so with resounding strength and humility. Of all people, Pence is most deserving of praise for his disciplined handling of the administration’s duration. To blame him for the results of the electoral college was dishonorable – lacking leadership and good judgment.
Now. You’re probably surprised that you just read this assault on Trump from me, of all people. Let me rein it in before I close. I voted for Trump in 2016 (not in the primary, but in the general), I voted for him in 2020, and I’d vote for him again in 2024 (maybe not in the primary, but definitely in the general). The junk that I hated in his speech was the same kind of junk I knew that Donald Trump was capable of when I voted for him. He lacks humility, he’s accusatory, he’s conceited, he’s sharp-tongued, he’s a beyond-sore loser, he doesn’t particularly demonstrate mature fruit of the spirit in his dialogue. Other parts of his speech had me smiling, laughing, and wishing I was in the crowd. As President, he did what he said he’d do, his policies were right, and he taught some much-needed backbone to a too-passive conservative contingent who has increasingly allowed the left to dominate our culture and decimate our values. What Trump has done for the federal courts and the Supreme Court, I pray, will help our country for decades to come to hold off on the evil and morally-appalling ideals of the political left in our country. I’m grateful for the term he had, I wish he would’ve won again, I’m concerned for the individual freedoms of our citizens under the next administration, and I most presently wish the few agitated individuals hadn’t escalated the Capitol visit beyond the lawn.
I HATE the merciless disdain the media and political opposition has unloaded on conservatives from Trump Derangement Syndrome and I HATE the way the so-called Capitol “riot” can be used to concede any moral high ground to the left. Please remember, the left continues to justify and condone the riotous death & destruction from the left that occurred for weeks and weeks on end all across our nation in 2020, while the right immediately condemned lawlessness from the worst of its own, demanding they be brought to justice. We will continue to stand on truth, not emotion, and we know that eventually, the truth prevails.
MUCH more to say about that. Check my Twitter because I don’t make it here often. Another blog needed about Twitter, alone, and not sure if I’m actually keeping that open, so check my Parler if you can’t find me on Twitter, both @conservativelyj.