Mike Pence’s Inspiring Words To Live (and Govern) By
“…the President is ‘just like the rest of us’, he is the most powerful man in the world. If you and I fall into bad moral habits, we can harm our families, our employers and our friends. The President of the United States can incinerate the planet. Seriously, the very idea that we ought to have at or less than the same moral demands placed on the Chief Executive that we place on our next door neighbor is ludicrous and dangerous. Throughout our history, we have seen the presidency as the repository of all of our highest hopes and ideals and values. To demand less is to do an injustice to the blood that bought our freedoms.
While the office brings with it the duties that attend the administration of the government, as President Herbert C. Hoover wrote, “The Presidency is more than executive responsibility. It is the inspiring supreme symbol of all that is highest in our American ideals.” When a president fails to fulfill his oath of office, as is the case where the law is broken in a big way or a small way (another way of saying high crimes or misdemeanors), the Constitution provides for a mechanism whereby the legislative branch might impeach him.
This may seem drastic to the average American. It is. Our founders intended it to be so because they intended the President of the United States to be the center of the government of the United States. Other constructs were considered, including the appointment of a prime minister-like president by the legislative branch, but all were rejected in favor of a strong and elected President. Alexander Hamilton defended this concept in ‘The Federalist’ writing, “the Executive is a leading characteristic in the definition of good government… it is essential to the steady administration of the law.” Hamilton also cautioned against long suffering where a President failed to meet this high standard, writing, “a feeble Executive implies a feeble execution of government. A feeble Executive is but another name for a bad executive; and a government ill-executed… must be proclaimed a bad government.”
Further, the Presidents repeated lies to the American people in this matter compound the case against him as they demonstrate his failure to protect the institution of the presidency as the ‘inspiring supreme symbol of all that is highest in our American ideals’. Leaders affect the lives of families far beyond their own ‘private life’. In the Bible story of Esther we are told of a king who was charged to put right his own household because there would be “no end of disrespect and discord” among the families of the kingdom if he failed to do so. In a day when reckless extramarital sexual activity is manifesting itself in our staggering rates of illegitimacy and divorce, now more than ever, America needs to be able to look to her First Family as role models of all that we have been and can be again.
If the President does not resign, the Republican Congress must impeach him even if it costs them their majority because the laws of this republic charge them with the duty to so act. Absent an uncharacteristic act of selflessness by the President, it is left to the Republicans to live up to their label and defend the laws and institutions of this Republic. If our leaders flinch at this responsibility, they would do well to heed the Proverb “if a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked”. Our leaders must either act to restore the luster and dignity of the institution of the Presidency or we can be certain that this is only the beginning of an even more difficult time for our land. For the nation to move on, the President must move out.”
These words were written by now-vice president Mike Pence in two columns in the late 1990s, referring to then-President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monika Lewinsky.
No further commentary necessary.
(Thanks to CNN for bringing these memorable words to our attention.)