Is It Time For Mike Pence To Be President?

Yin Bogu/Xinhua via ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Back in the day, there was a bit of bloggy conversation about whether Donald Trump might actually be a less destructive president than, say, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. The case against that was pretty simple:

He’s a serial liar. He’s a demagogue. He’s a racist and a xenophobe. He appeals to our worst natures….He’d appoint folks who make Michael Brown look like Jeff Bezos. He would deliberately alienate foreign countries for no good reason….And while that volatile personality of his probably wouldn’t cause him to nuke Denmark, you never know, do you?

This week we’ve seen both of his two most serious flaws in action. Resurgent neo-Nazis and white nationalists, who take Trump as their inspiration and role model, invaded Charlottesville and produced exactly the violence and mayhem you’d expect. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio had no problem denouncing these racist thugs. But Trump, as he did before with David Duke, refused to clearly and explicitly condemn them. He offered only his usual weasel words, which gave him plausible deniability but refrained from risking his reputation as the champion of white America. “Nobody in media/politics can legitimately claim they didn’t know that Trump plays footsie with white supremacists,” says my boss today, and then lays out MoJo’s extensive coverage of exactly this over the past two years. You should read it if you have even the vaguest thought that maybe Trump isn’t quite as toxic and ugly as I’m suggesting.

At the same time, he’s been engaged in a childish war of words with North Korea. This is not just idiotic, since Trump is making threats he knows he won’t carry out, but recklessly dangerous. It’s exactly the kind of thing that, with the right push, could escalate into Kim Jong-Un doing something foolhardy and then Trump responding in kind. The odds of this turning into a nuclear exchange are low. Maybe 1 percent or so. But with any other Republican the odds would be 0 percent.

Trump needs to go. The sooner Republicans figure this out, the better off we’ll be. Mike Pence may have sold his soul by signing up with Trump—and as president he’d unquestionably be bad for everything I care about—but Donald Trump is a disgrace, and a dangerous one. His 15 minutes should have been up long ago.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate