As our paranoid, self-absorbed president digs himself further into a hole, alienating more and more of his supporters, it is reasonable to look down the road at his downfall. It won’t be pretty as he and his die-hard supporters face down the rest of us, but to survive as a party, the Republicans are going to have to cast aside this empty suit. I wish we could look forward to a Trump-free life, but he is unlikely to shut up even after being forced out of office. Sooner or later he will vanish from the scene, as we all do.
It is time to think and plan for life under President Pence. As far as I can gather, he is a far-right ideologue with a particularly odious theocratic agenda. His environmental record is dismal, but he seems to have come around to the view that humans may have an impact on climate. Wow. Wikipedia has the most comprehensive and balanced coverage I could find on the web (a chilling quote: “Pence stated that his role model as vice president would be Dick Cheney”).
But there is nothing much in the article about his personality. We need something comparable to the article in the Atlantic about Trump at https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/06/the-mind-of-donald-trump/480771/ . Pence is likely to be rigid and doctrinaire and not open to opposing views, and that is not good. Faced with a crisis, will he act pragmatically? How much does he depend upon the support of yes-men?
Neither he, Trump or anyone else in government are able to address the most important issues facing us: how rich nations must radically “ungrow” and redistribute wealth in order to salvage as much as possible of our modern civilization in the face of explosive and unsustainable growth, while saving as much of our living environment as possible, avoiding nuclear war, and giving everyone on Earth a fair share.
As accomplishing all this in an orderly fashion is not on the agenda, I am advised that the best thing to do is enjoy life to the extent possible, not fret over things you can’t change, and act in areas where you might have an impact.
Compassion and activism for civil rights, fairness and personal liberty are necessary, indeed inevitable, responsibilities for all, even if they don’t address our fundamental problems. So we will need to resist Pence’s theocracy and far-right views, while encouraging any actions he might take that could help us make the transition to a new future based on something other than growth.
It’s a problem I hope we have soon.