WEEKLY COLUMN

A Sharp View: Meet the new co-president, Mike Pence

Posted on: 03/14/2017 00:00

I am not intending to be mean here, or smooth.  However, America may soon be forced to change its basic composition to accommodate our new president, Donald “I Did It My Way” Trump.   America – and Americans – will need to be served by a conventional president that Americans still need.

And it’s starting to look like Mike Pence may have to be the one who actually works with Americans who need a traditional, non-kooky person to be there for them.  Not as a president – because Donald Trump has been elected president, remember. But it looks like Mike Pence may have be our co-president for the next four years, at least, so that we can have at least one president who could talk to Americans about America thoroughly and respectfully, outside of Twitter aphorisms.

So what kind of co-president would Mike Pence be?

If we have listened during the presidential campaign, we at least know what kind of a vice president he expects to be.  In fact, that was broadcast on the ABC new program This Week when Pence was interviewed by Martha Raddatz on September 18:

“GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said his role model for the number two spot is the last Republican to hold the job – Dick Cheney.

‘I frankly hold Dick Cheney in really high regard in his role as vice president and as an American’” Pence said on ABC’s ‘This Week.’

Pence said that, like Cheney, he hoped to be ‘a very active vice president.’”

But what exactly does that mean, that Pence would be like Dick Cheney?  In fact, I had sometimes heard of Cheney being described as a “co-president” because of all the work he did in national security following the 9/11 attack on America.  I think it was an unprecedented load of administrative time and action for any American vice president in history. Added to this that President Bush had a sort of light-hearted and charming quality of a king while Cheney presented in contrast as a more serious presentation of a prime minister who did the work to keep the nation going.

More seriously, Bush seemed to have a kind of ADHD quality that he was also supposed to be known to have had at Harvard, Yale and the Air Force National Guard.  An elevated Dick Cheney to keep an eye on what was happening in America and the world seemed to emerge during the Bush administration as a national necessity.

Other precedents in history may be called in for the so-called first mate in fact doing the work of the nation’s authorized commander in chief.

Benjamin Disraeli – Great Britain’s prime minister in the nineteenth century – was such a creatively active prime minister and going beyond what any other PM had done in history that he changed the office and its relationship to English royalty forever.  And yet that doesn’t mean that Disraeli’s sovereign Queen Victoria did not benefit from all of her prime minister’s productive work.  The Victorian era established England once again as the world’s Super Power, largely because of Disraeli’s genius for negotiation, but it is Victoria’s name that everyone remembers from this period.

Moreover, the name of Queen Victoria became a trademark in a way that has still exceeded the trademark of the Trump name.   The weight of all Victorian furniture, Victorian fashion and Victorian architecture continues to be more far-ranging than the Trump Tower, the Trump Palace, the Trump Steak and the Trump University.

Even in ancient times, the relationship between royalty and administration created co-leadership.

In fact, the second Emperor of the Roman Empire – Tiberius – seemed to agree with Trump that he found the administration and the repetitious reports of the Roman Intel system tedious.  So – as Trump promised to do himself at the White House – Tiberius delegated out most of the Roman National Security System. Finally, Tiberius found himself giving over practically all of the administration of Rome to the general of his Praetorian Guard, Sejanus.

In the meantime, Tiberius even left Rome and devoted himself to activities in the resort island of Capri, which like Capri even today was a kind of haven for beautiful young women dressed to swim or swing.

Meanwhile Sejanus kept up the more mundane work of keeping the Goths and the Visigoths and Vandals out of Rome.

This system worked smoothly until Sejanus one year decided to name himself co-consul of Rome with Tiberius, with Sejanus being in charge of such things as Roman military might and Tiberius taking charge of things like Roman beauty contests.

At that point, Tiberius had Sejanus strangled.

The historic lesson is that while Mike Pence may indeed serve as co-president, he better not call himself that.

Chris Sharp- Commentary

Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . Sharp's latest book is an Amazon Kindle collection of his published short stories, Every Kind of Angel . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon


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