Way back in July of 2016 I suggested that Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Tim Kaine would be better choices than either President Donald J Trump or Senator Hillary Clinton for the office of President of the United States. Events suggest I may have been right.
Now it seems, according to some media reports, that the events of January 6th …
… rather than chastening all Americans, have emboldened some and that there might be further, more violent demonstrations planned.
I still recall the events of the late summer of 1957. I was 15, a high school student, we had a TV set (a lot of folks didn’t, even then) and got some US channels (there was no Internet, not even cable TV then), and some great TV journalists ~ maybe Edward R Murrow, himself, maybe Walter Cronkite or Eric Sevareid ~ explained to Americans (and to a Canadian teen-ager) why it was a really big deal (constitutionally) for President. Eisenhower to have sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas …
… to replace the state’s own National Guard soldiers and ensure that court orders to desegregate schools were obeyed. They also explained, in words a teenager could understand, why it was, socially, the right thing to do and, politically, very brave, too. But then Dwight Eisenhower didn’t need many lessons in courage, did he?
IF there are more demonstrations planned for Washington between now and the Inauguration of President-elect Biden then it may be necessary for Vice President Mike Pence to step up, to be as brave as Ike was, and order General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the professional head of the US Armed Forces, to deploy federal, regular troops and/or marines to Washington to guarantee that order is maintained in and around the seat of government while the peaceful transition of power is being managed. If armed mobs descend on the capital again they should be met with overwhelming force ~ enough so that only the terminally bloody stupid will not turn around and go home. I can understand what I am sure would be Vice President Pence’s extreme discomfort in doing this, but it was right for President Eisenhower in 1957 and it, deploying the US military to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” to prevent problems is the right thing to do in 2021, too.
State governors may need to deploy their National Guards, too, because several statehouse have been attacked and more threats are possible, even likely. Individual American soldiers, some of whom will not be thrilled at the prospect of a Biden administration will have to straighten their backs, square their shoulders and remember the oaths they swore, too, as they have to face down their fellow citizens. It’s not the duty for which most soldiers signed on; it’s not the duty that a vice president or any admiral or general ever wanted but, sometimes, we can’t have what we really want and we have to do what’s right. For Mike Pence, General Mark Milley, several state governors and many thousands of American soldiers this may be one of those times.