VICE PRESIDENT PENCE—FUNDAMENTALIST FANATIC, CRUCIAL FORCE IN THE FASCIST REGIME
by Bob Avakian
I began the Statement By Bob Avakian, August 1, 2020, On The Immediate Critical Situation, The Urgent Need To Drive Out The Fascist Trump/Pence Regime, Voting In This Election, And The Fundamental Need For Revolution with this important analysis:
We are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime: relentlessly assaulting civil rights and liberties and openly promoting bigotry and inequality; acting with callous disregard or cold-blooded malice toward those they consider inferior and a drain or stain on the country; on a mission to deny health care to millions who will suffer and many who will die without it; crudely degrading women, as objects of plunder, breeders of children without the right to abortion or birth control, subordinate to husbands and men in general; defying the science of climate change, attacking the science of evolution, and repudiating the scientific method overall; a regime brandishing an arsenal of mass destruction and threatening nuclear war; intensifying state terror against Muslims, immigrants, and people in the inner cities; unleashing and giving encouragement and support to brutal thugs spewing vile “America First,” white supremacist, male supremacist, and anti-LGBT venom—a regime that boasts of all this and declares its intention to do even worse.1
As for vice president Mike Pence: While he might not express things in the same blustering, blatant and vulgar ways as Trump, Pence is a religious fundamentalist fanatic, who represents a powerful force driving the whole fascist program of this regime.
And this is why there is the urgent need to take up the call from REFUSEFASCISM.org, demanding not only the removal of Trump but that the whole Trump/Pence regime must be OUT NOW!
With Pence, we are not talking about the kind of Christianity that seeks to reconcile religious belief with acceptance of science, and interprets the Bible and the message of Jesus as one of peace, justice, compassion and tolerance, loving your neighbor and standing with the poor and oppressed. No, Pence is a dead-eyed “true believer” in an extreme, anti-scientific and cruel, religious fanaticism—a real “Handmaid’s Tale” Christian fundamentalist, driven by virulent male supremacist and anti-LGBT venom, and fully on board with Trump’s white supremacy, aggressive American chauvinism and xenophobia (hatred of immigrants). Pence’s religious fundamentalism is a counterpart to the Islamic fundamentalism of the Taliban or ISIS. Like them, Pence believes that his version of religious fundamentalism should be imposed on people, by force wherever and whenever necessary. But a big difference is that, unlike Taliban or ISIS leaders, whose power and “reach” is much more limited, Pence is a high-ranking official in the most powerful government, with the most powerful killing machine, in the history of the world.
He may seem more “polished” than the crude lying bully Trump, but Pence is all the more dangerous for his “calm” exterior—a “soft-spoken assassin” who practices his own version of the “righteous” lie, in the service of “God’s will” as interpreted through Pence’s lunatic religious fundamentalism. While “old school” NAZIs and armed thugs (like the Proud Boys), are useful as storm troopers for the fascist Trump/Pence regime, it is Christian fundamentalism that is the hard core and driving force of this regime. And, along with Pence, this regime is full of Christian fundamentalist fanatics, in powerful positions—including Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and many others.
Here it is helpful to cite once again important analysis by African-American theologian Hubert Locke. Speaking 15 years ago, Locke referred to the experience of his mentor, James Luther Adams, who observed first-hand the fascism of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s, and spoke sharply to the danger of fascism in the U.S. itself:
A quarter-century ago [during the 1980s], as he watched the emergence of the religious right in this country as a political force dedicated to “taking back the nation for God,” Adams said to his students that they would find themselves having to fight “the Christian fascists” in this nation. He warned that the American fascists would not come wearing swastikas and brown shirts. The American variety, he said, would come carrying crosses and chanting the Pledge of Allegiance.2
Once more, this is why the removal not only of Trump, but of Pence, and the whole fascist regime, is an immediate and urgent imperative, and must become a massive rallying cry and overwhelmingly powerful demand thundered by growing numbers of people taking to the streets, and staying in the streets, demanding that this regime must be OUT NOW!
2. Reflections on Pacific School of Religion’s Response to the Religious Right, by Dr. Hubert Locke, is also available at revcom.us—emphasis added. [back]