Doing What’s Ordinary

Our puppy lived with his brothers, sisters and trainer for five months before we got to take him home.

We learned one important lesson the day the trainer handed over the leash: praise the pup royally when he goes potty outdoors, and don’t lavish praise when he behaves routinely–such as sitting on command.

I thought about the dog as I listened to the live report of the January 6 Commission’s hearing.

The Commission and press praised gutsy folks who have thus far recounted details of the behavior of elected and appointed officials serving under the impeached former president.

I have no doubt these folks show courage, unlike Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows and Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who refused to address the American public through the Commission.

Today one of the Commission participants said the former vice president–who also rebuffed the Commission’s invitation to come clean–deserves a medal for confirming the electoral college vote count on January 6, 2021.

Why would you award a medal of honor to someone who is carrying out his or her job as expected?

But…that’s his job, isn’t it?

Mike Pence’s duty as vice president is clearly outlined in the 12th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The vice president’s responsibility, in concert with the Speaker of the House and the Senate, affirm the votes of the Electoral College.

Why would you award a medal of honor to someone who is carrying out his or her job as expected?

True: Pence defied a senile miscreant’s directive to break the law and declare the election rotten.

Like Pence, many have suffered from Trump’s bile including John McCain, a long-serving senator and decorated war veteran: “He’s not a war hero…he was captured,” the former president told a crowd in 2015.

Those who publicly questioned the former president’s sanity, integrity, morality and honesty have suffered, too: Many cling to the lie spread by Trump that Barack Obama was born in Kenya [he was born in Hawaii] while others joined in the disparagement of Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas, the face of the [Democrat] party.”

Context matters.

My pup doesn’t get a treat just because he has learned how to sit.

And Pence should not be decorated for doing what is right and just.


13 July 2022

Image Credit: Mike Lukovich, Atlanta Journal and Constitution

With acknowledgement and gratitude to the Native peoples on whose land I live, write and teach: the Multnomah, the Clackamas, and the denizens of all Indigenous nations































About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in nativescience. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Doing What’s Ordinary

  1. Conrad Ramirez says:

    I agree.


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