Close your eyes for a minute. It’s OK. I’ll help you along.

Now, envision an Alabama Republican named Roy Moore running for the U.S. Senate brandishing a gun from the stage at a campaign rally.

And now envision him a few years back being removed as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing a judicial order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state’s Judicial Building.

A few years later, after again being elected Alabama chief justice, watch him being suspended for refusing to acknowledge the legality of gay marriage.

Now envision him being asked by a reporter for his views on DACA and whether he supports DREAMers, And envision him asking the reporter to explain DACA and DREAMers to him.

Envision him saying that homosexuality should be against military policy.

And yes, this comes from a West Point graduate.

Are your eyes still closed? Good. This isn’t for the faint of heart.

Now envision this fellow — as recently as 2016 — saying he doesn’t believe President Barack Obama was born in the United States. And, furthermore, he said he believes Obama is a Muslim.

Speaking of Muslims, envision this guy saying U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, should not have been seated in Congress because he’s a Muslim.

Envision him going a step further than President Donald Trump by saying we ought to also build a wall along our northern border.

Envision part of his brain trust being Sarah Palin as she backs him up on stage at one of his rallies.

Envision him telling the crowd that there shouldn’t be any federal money for Planned Parenthood.

Given all that baggage, envision him easily defeating Trump candidate Luther Strange.

Now, envision a Strange backer having this to say the day after Moore won:

“Congratulations, Roy Moore. We are thrilled you ran on the MAGA (Make America Great Again) agenda, and we are for you.”

Now, open your eyes.

Yes, the guy heaping all that praise on Moore is Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor.

Kind of makes me ashamed to be a Hoosier.

Rich James has been writing about state and local government and politics for more than 30 years. Email him at The opinions are the writer’s.