Opinions

OPINION: Unexpected respect for Mike Pence

Here are words I never thought I would think, let alone say out loud: I am starting to have some respect for Mike Pence. Don’t get me wrong. His politics generally appall me. His attitude toward women rolls out of a century that can’t even be identified. And on most days, he resembles a walking Viagra ad. But he not only apparently believes in our Constitution, he will stand up to a bully to protect it.

Donald Trump is obviously the bully to whom I refer. And in case you ever wondered what an adult bully sounds like, check out Trump’s conversations with Pence as the day to certify the election arrived. Sounds just like the childish bullies you remember from your youth, right? Saying they won’t be friends anymore. Claiming he won’t like Pence anymore. When these words are coming out of the mouth of the president of the United States, they are a helluva lot more frightening than when they come out of the mouth of the local school yard bully.

Most frightening was when Pence stood strong in his belief that duty called for him to certify a free and fair election. The president sent his armed mob into the Capitol with the purpose of scaring him with a noose and chants of “Hang Mike Pence.” It’s just embarrassing for the rest of the world to see the man who headed up one of the greatest countries on earth acting like an 11-year-old with his childish gang of sycophants.

Of course, there are those who would argue that America is not the greatest. In fact, they would argue, it is a failed democracy. And the proof is that while 91% of the American people want some sensible gun control laws, the Congress that supposedly represents them will not even consider passing any meaningful legislation on the matter. The majority of Americans also believe that abortion should be legal and safe and a private matter between a woman and her doctor. Doesn’t matter. The Supreme Court blows precedent out of the water to upend Roe v. Wade and instead inserts its members’ own morality. Congress just sits on its hands and does nothing to meet the wishes of the people it supposedly represents. Under these circumstances, Mike Pence stands out as someone with real ethics and a backbone. Congress should consider getting some of that, since our Supreme Court is on its way to becoming the religious mullahs of America. They allow prayer on the playing field and government money spent on religious institutions. I can’t wait until the first Muslim coach kneels down at center field and has his team pray to Allah with him.

So, while Mike Pence is not someone I would ever consider voting for unless the former president was running as his opponent, he is the only person who has, in the recent past, upheld the rule of law and stood firm for our Constitution. Who ever thought we’d see this day? Mike Pence -- more interested in protecting our democracy than our Congress or Supreme Court.

So, consider that on the one hand we have Mike Pence, a man willing to risk losing the support of a powerful man in his party in order to do what was right to protect our democracy. On the other, we have a group of congressmen and women who fear losing an election if they dare to question their financial overlords and so they don’t. They say all the right words and hope their constituents will not notice that they don’t do anything beyond that. You have to wonder, if it was their name the people with the guns and nooses were chanting, would they have shown the courage Mike Pence showed in standing up and doing the right thing, no matter the cost?

Mike Pence and a whole bunch of election workers whose names we will never know were threatened with death for doing their jobs. They stood strong in the face of those threats. I’m not sure I would have had that kind of courage. And I sure as heck never thought I’d see it coming out in Mike Pence. So, credit where credit is due. Thank you, Mike Pence, for believing in our country and its Constitution and having the guts to stand up for it when we most needed someone with that courage.

And now let’s go back to discussing your strange attitude towards women.

Elise Patkotak is an Alaska columnist and author. Her book “Coming Into the City” is available at AlaskaBooksandCalendars.com and at local bookstores.

The views expressed here are the writer’s and are not necessarily endorsed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)adn.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@adn.com or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and commentaries here.

Elise Patkotak

Elise Patkotak is an Alaska columnist and author. Her book "Coming Into the City" is available at AlaskaBooksandCalendars.com and at local bookstores.

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