The sharks have been circling President Donald Trump from the moment John Podesta made his way to the stage of the Javits Center on November 8th, forced a smile, and delivered the news to the victory-party-turned-wake that Madame Hillary would not be attending the ball that night.
Trump's contempt for the status quo in Washington made him a hero to his supporters, but a grave threat to his detractors. Unfortunately, as many level-headed conservative Republicans feared during the campaign, it appears more obvious than ever that the President's unprincipled mind, undisciplined approach and unpredictable conduct may cause his administration to be strangled in its infancy.
Sure, it is completely fair to say that the things Donald Trump is being constantly accused of doing – specifically the mishandling of classified information as well as the obstruction of justice – have been a staple of presidential conduct for the last eight years. If you need a refresher, think SEAL Team 6 leaks, Iran cyber attacks leaks, Israel/Syria leaks, IRS targeting of conservatives and subsequent cover-up, and a litany of other examples. And, of course, the media yawned at all of it while mocking as conspiratorial or racist anyone who didn't.
But with as tempting as it is for conservatives or Republicans to point to the double standard the Democrat/Media Complex is holding President Trump to, it's not the issue. The issue is President Trump's behavior. If it was bad when Obama did it (it was), it is bad when Trump does it (it is). Failing to see that makes you no better than the Democrat/Media Complex you despise.
Some Republicans have sadly responded to this truth by saying, "But the Democrats use our virtue and principles against us." Yes, that's probably true. But what is the better alternative? Abandoning virtue and principles?
I get that it's not fair. But it hasn't been fair for generations. Remember, before there was Trump Derangement Syndrome on the left there was Bush Derangement Syndrome. George W. Bush faced every bit as much opposition as Trump (in fact I would argue more so). Even the affable and genial demeanor of Mitt Romney was characterized by leftists as mean-spirited greed pouring from a misogynistic reprobate. They pilloried two good men as monsters because that's what they do. The left is going to left no matter who the Republican standard bearer is; which is precisely why so many of us wanted a Republican standard bearer who wouldn't give them ammunition.
That didn't happen. Sadly, it becomes increasingly clear every day that Trump is stumbling into the legacy of Richard Nixon who once reflected of his enemies, "I gave them a sword." Donald Trump appears determined to give his two or three.
In light of this fairly self-evident reality, while I feel no need or desire to attempt to bandage up or "spin" away the President's self-inflicted wounds, I do feel compelled to beg of my fellow Christians to be in fervent prayer for Vice President Mike Pence.
The polar opposite of Donald Trump in every discernable way – policy convictions, demeanor, style, graciousness, thoughtfulness – Pence is in the midst of a whirlwind that conservatives (and all Americans) need him to emerge from in-tact.
Pray for Pence that he would remain honest and forthright even as signs of corruption or carelessness emerge in the administration around him.
Pray for Pence that he would remain grounded and wise in the activities he is asked to engage in on behalf of the administration.
Pray for Pence that he would be a voice of sound reason that President Trump would hear and heed sooner rather than later.
Pray for Pence that he remains uncompromising and unflinching in the storms he must contend with, and that he is able to successfully escape the ones that shouldn't involve him.
Pray for Pence that he continues being a, "Christian, conservative, and Republican in that order."
I wouldn't even begin to guess what is coming in the weeks and months ahead for the Trump Administration and the country it leads. Damaging revelations from Special Prosecutor Mueller (for the record, I don't think this investigation sinks Trump)? A White House staff exodus or firing spree? More damaging leaks? An impeachment effort? A resignation? Absolutely nothing would surprise me at this point.
And that means regardless of where you place the odds, there's an ever-increasing probability that Mike Pence may be our president soon. Pray for him.