Published: June 7, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
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Thirty-one minutes and forty-three seconds into his speech at the GOP Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in Manchester, New Hampshire, former Vice-President Mike Pence said this about the January 6th insurrection of the Capitol building and President Trump:

“…I don’t know if we’ll ever see eye-to-eye on that day…”

That’s it? “Eye-to-eye”? What a feeble attempt at characterizing your perspective of that day, Mike. I think there’s a little more truth to the subject than that.

Diane Hacker’s “Rules for Writing,” is a book I have sitting next to my desk. It’s a comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide to grammar, rhetoric, and writing well. Concerning arguments, Hacker writes, “In argumentative writing, you take a stand on a debatable issue. On such questions, reasonable people may disagree. … When you construct a reasonable argument, your goal is not simply to win or to have the last word. Your aim is to reveal your current understanding of the truth about a subject…”

Frankly, I don’t see the truth about that subject coming from you, Mike, and I don’t believe reasonable people would even come close to seeing it, either.

Let’s go back to January 6, and recall what the insurrections repeatedly shouted after they constructed a gallows from which they hung a noose: “Hang Mike Pence!

That’s the truth on that subject, Mike.

Five people died because of the attack.

That’s also the truth.

Once security became aware that the insurrectionists had breached the Capitol building and began making their way to the Senate chamber, you and your family were rushed to a secure area by the Secret Service.

Eye-to-eye? Really?

Not seeing eye-to-eye is akin to disagreeing with an umpire’s call in baseball. It’s not about “one of the darkest days in America,” as you put it, not when elected officials had to be quickly moved to a secure area for the safety of their lives.

At the time this was all happening, then-President Donald Trump tweeted, repeatedly, claims that you had the authority to overturn the results. You didn’t.

Another truth, Mike.

At the same speech, you said, “It is time for America to discard the left-wing myth of systemic racism once and for all. America is not a racist nation.”

That’s not the truth on the subject either, Mike.

My argument? Daunte Wright, Rayshard Brooks, Daniel Prude, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Janisha Fonville, Eric Garner, Michelle Cusseaux, Akai Gurley, and the list goes on. Those are the names of Black individuals killed by police.

I think that’s a pretty strong argument for the truth of systemic racism by police in many areas of the country. While not all police harbor such racism, the number of Blacks killed in 2021 has been wildly out of proportion to those of whites.

And what about Charlottesville? Wasn’t the “Unite the Right” rally a demonstration of racism? How about right-wing, white-supremacist, paramilitary groups that invaded communities like Portland, Minneapolis and Richmond? Were they not a demonstration of racism in the nation?

In a commentary, you wrote that the 2020 “…election [was] marked by significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law…”

That is not the truth on that subject, either, Mike.

“Since Election Day, PolitiFact has fact-checked more than 80 misleading or false claims about voter fraud in the 2020 election. Federal agencies, state election officials and technology experts have all said this year’s election was among the most secure in American history.”

Widespread voter fraud was challenged by Trump attorneys in more than 80 court cases. They failed. In offering his opinion of one such case, Judge Stephanos Bibas of the United States Court of Appeals wrote, “calling an election unfair does not make it so.”

Even the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

I just don’t see-eye-to eye with you on any of your claims, Mike, and I think reasonable people would likely conclude that you need a new pair of glasses.


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