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Trump’s Vice Presidential Suitors Ignore Mike Pence’s Fate at Their Own Peril

Trump’s Vice Presidential Suitors and the Fateful Parallel to Homer’s “Odyssey”

It’s beyond absurd that former President Donald Trump has eager suitors vying for the position of Vice President despite his history of incitement that nearly resulted in the murder of his former Vice President, Mike Pence, and his family. During the January 6th insurrection, rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” and constructed gallows. Pence and his family were indeed in danger as rioters breached the Capitol. Reports indicate that Trump was almost gleeful during the insurrection, watching the events unfold on television and initially reluctant to call off the rioters. Some witnesses have suggested he was pleased by the disruption. Pence, displaying the barest semblance of backbone, refused to support Trump’s desperate bid to cling to power by subverting the Constitution.

Trump’s January 6th Incitement

In the lead-up to that fateful day, Pence consulted with multiple advisors who confirmed the unconstitutionality of Trump’s demands. Undeterred, Trump orchestrated a fiery speech at the Ellipse near the Capitol, urging his supporters to “fight like hell.” The result was a violent mob storming the Capitol, aiming to decapitate the U.S. government. Gallows ominously erected for Pence highlighted the mob’s deadly intentions. The image of a frenzied mob chanting for the Vice President’s death stands as a chilling testament to the loyalty Trump’s suitors can expect if they ever run afoul of him. This is inevitable, as anyone in proximity to a man animated by hate and vengeance ultimately will.

Groveling for Power

Despite this, Trump’s vice-presidential suitors continue to line up, willing to debase themselves to serve a man who could incite their murders in a future fit of pique. Many of those who work with Trump delude themselves into believing that they will be spared from his betrayals, denying the shared reality where many have witnessed his willingness to backstab those who sacrificed everything for him without a hint of guilt. It is beyond pathetic to witness these grown adults—lawmakers, former governors, and others—groveling before Trump and showcasing their willingness to be used by the twice-impeached former president to undermine the U.S. justice system.

Attacks on the Judiciary

Reports suggest Trump even scripted attacks for these sycophants, instructing them to target the judge and the judge’s daughter in brazen attempts to flout a gag order he has repeatedly violated. These individuals, including members of Congress, the Senate, and a former governor, shamelessly attacked a sitting judge and his private citizen daughter to curry favor with the most disloyal man ever to hold the presidency.

Comparison to Penelope’s Suitors

The comparison to Penelope’s suitors in Homer’s “Odyssey” is apt. In the epic, Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, is besieged by suitors who seek her hand in marriage, not out of genuine love or merit, but out of a desire for power and status. These suitors, believing Odysseus to be dead or permanently missing, take advantage of his prolonged absence to occupy his home and court his wife. Their intentions are driven by opportunism and self-interest. They exhibit a lack of honor, seeking to gain through servility and manipulation rather than through valor or virtue.

Similarly, Trump’s vice-presidential aspirants lack the merit and integrity required for the position. Instead of demonstrating genuine leadership or qualifications, they are willing to grovel and undermine others to advance their own ambitions. Like Penelope’s suitors, they display shameless opportunism, seeking power through association,

In “The Odyssey,” the consequences for Penelope’s suitors were severe; upon Odysseus’s return, he ruthlessly executed them. Similarly, Trump’s suitors need only recall Mike Pence’s near-death experience despite his steadfast loyalty to Trump, even when Trump’s destructive conduct did not merit it. This loyalty was evident throughout Trump’s tenure, including during the pandemic, his extortion of Ukraine, his praise of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville as “very fine people,” and his willingness to even entertain Trump’s desire to overturn the 2020 election results. Despite all of this, Trump still cheered on the attempt to execute Mike Pence. Why would Trump’s current vice-presidential suitors believe they would be treated any differently? Pence’s ordeal exemplifies the potential peril of aligning with Trump. As always, “past is prologue,” and this is especially pertinent here. Trump’s current suitors are ignoring the clear pattern of betrayal and danger that accompanies their proximity to him.

The Future Under Trump

Should Trump ascend to the presidency once more, we can expect even more sycophantic behavior, more groveling, and more obeisance from those who ought to know better. These individuals are willing to risk their lives for a title that would reduce them to mere lackeys of a would-be totalitarian. Trump, an adjudicated rapist, sex abuser, and fraud who has been impeached twice, represents a nadir in American political history. The spectacle of these aspirants debasing themselves for his favor underscores the perilous state of our democracy.