Stories We Tell Ourselves

A path to President Pence, by the Wall Street Journal

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After the emergence of a video tape featuring Republican nominee Donald J. Trump making lewd statements about women, many conservatives, here at the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, have openly called for Trump to be replaced by his running mate, Mike Pence.

That might seem a fanciful wish at this stage. Early voting has begun, and many state laws prevent reorganization of the ticket.

But there is a pathway forward for a Mike Pence presidency.

First, conservatives need to work together, as never before, to summon the magical genie known as Hakeem. An ancient poem, etched on the walls of Andrew Jackson’s funeral ziggurat, suggests that Hakeem rests in a “Lamp of Brass” in “old Meso-Potame,” where the “sand is coarse” and “the water’s tame.”

The stakes here are obvious. The olden verse makes clear that:

Whosoever finds Hakeem
Shall live his ev’ry wish and dream.
Cast your lot with wishes three;
Hakeem shall nod and make them be.

This is a clear indication to Republicans that a true conservative like Mike Pence could still win the White House this November.

Given the recent polls, conservative scholars at think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the American Institute for the Geolocation of Wish-Granting Spirits have been working extra-hard to pinpoint the location of this sand-buried relic, and have dispatched a team of Young Republicans from Hobart College to excavate the lamp.

Now, there are legitimate arguments about how the other two wishes should be used. Some say one should be spent to extend the availability of Chick-Fil-A’s breakfast biscuit through to lunchtime; others argue that we should use a wish to reward Scott Baio’s party loyalty with a career comeback.

Luckily, conservatives have plenty of time to decide on a third wish. What conservatives do not have time for, however, is months and months without finding the precious genie’s lamp.

Now, let us be clear: Discovering a magical genie’s lamp is but one possible pathway to a Mike Pence’s presidency.

Many of our conservative colleagues have suggested smart alternatives. For example, Brandt Sacks, writing in this month’s National American Country Constitution Journal, suggests that a sufficient portion of the American population could be hypnotized into writing in Pence via cryptic symbols embedded in a primetime David Blaine special.

Indeed, if we want Mike Pence to be our president in January, we have to focus on real solutions—like turning back time by reversing the spin of the Earth’s rotation, or launching our planet into a wormhole whose exit lies in a parallel universe where Donald Trump retired to a solid-gold luxury condo in Monaco.

To us, however, the genie route seems the most plausible, and the best hope for conservatives in November.

You might be wondering: Why not just use one of our wishes to correct the behavior of Donald Trump? Or to convince Trump to drop out of the race, for the good of the Republican Party?

Conservatives need to be realistic about the power of genies.

That’s why we need your help. This mission is badly in need of cash donations, volunteer crypto-archaeologists, and someone who speaks fluent Akkadian.

If you can provide any of these, we will be convening a meeting at David Frum’s townhouse this Tuesday at 8 PM.

The odds are long, but if we’ve learned anything from the 2016 election, it’s that anything is possible.

So let’s work together with our Hobart youths to recover the genie’s lamp, recite the summoner’s password, and deliver the Mike Pence presidency that traditional Republicans have been dreaming of.