Some Democrats feel that a president Mike pence would be easier to deal with than Donald Trump. The man might be a hardcore Republican, but at least he’s not insane. Or so we hope.
There are some things we can say for sure about Pence. He’s a religious zealot. A fiery bigot. And like Trump, he’s a smooth liar.
Republicans picked Pence to run with Trump to reassure the party’s religious base. The thing is Pence shares Trump’s views on almost everything. The fact that he’s way more qualified than Trump for the presidency is what makes him dangerous. But then again, a ham sandwich is more qualified than Trump.
Some of Trump’s problems have been due to his own reckless craziness. Tweets sent out at 2 in the morning. Half-crazed, rambling speeches about nothing. Shoving foreign leaders out of the way to be on the front line of a photo. You have to figure a Pence White House would be more competent, and MUCH more dignified.
Besides, whoever follows Trump will seem like the world’s sanest leader. Like a grown-up following a child. Things would go back to normal, and that’s where the danger lies.
In the long run, normal might not be better.
Where Pence Departs From Trump
Mike Pence is a typical Republican in most respects. His views on trade and trade deals are no exception. Donald Trump promised to “renegotiate” NAFTA and withdraw from other trade deals. Pence offers no such hope. He’s a free trader through and through.
There’s a another important difference. Pence holds himself up as a model of Christian virtue. He has a personal rule to never eat dinner alone with a woman other than his wife. To some folks this kind of foolishness is walking the straight and narrow. To most its an example of fake Christianity.
By contrast, Donald Trump won’t even pretend to have morals. In spite of anything they might say, even his most devout defenders know the Donald is not a Christian. But they’ve decided not to give a damn.
That brings me to my next point, not giving a damn is the key to Republican morality. The party is full of religious zealots. But their faith doesn’t extend to a desire to help the poor, at least not with taxpayer money. This would be fine except for one thing. We know that church congregations can’t replace the power of the government to aid the poor.
So in reality Trump’s cruel polices will get no better under the very Christian Mike pence. He wants to cancel healthcare for millions. Mr. Veep supports cutting back on other social programs that aid the poor. He would wage war in the Middle East with the same gusto as Trump. Under Pence, reproductive rights would fall under heavy assault. Finally, he wants to protect the rights of Christians to discriminate at will.
Pence and Women
Republicans figure wealthy white men know what’s best for the nation’s women. That’s why they convene all-male panels to make policy effecting 51% of the population. Reproductive rights. Women’s healthcare. The gender pay gap. Most Republicans believe these issues are best addressed by men in suits. The beliefs of Mike Pence are no exception to the rule.
The veep’s religious views over-ride any hope for equality American women may have. How do we know? Try these Pence-isms on for size.
Our veep is one of America’s most anti-abortion politicians. He proved it as governor of Indiana. Pence signed a state law that requires a woman to make burial arrangements for her aborted fetus. The law also applies to women who suffer miscarriages, no matter how far along. Imagine a political party cruel enough to actually punish a women for miscarrying. That’s pretty hardcore. And that’s not all…..
During his time in Congress, Pence sponsored a “legitimate rape” bill. This law would allow the government to challenge a rape victim’s abortion rights. To get a legal abortion, the woman would have to prove she conceived through “forcible” rape. In other words she has to prove she fought back. The law in effect would force many rape victims to bear their attacker’s child.
Pence and Poverty
On issues of poverty we find that Mike Pence hews close to conservative dogma. He wants to “block grant” Medicaid. This is the idea of giving each state a lump sum for the program to spend how ever they see fit. The poor in red states would most likely see their benefits shrink to almost nothing. (It’s pretty close to nothing right now).
As governor of Indiana Pence kicked struggling families off of food stamps. The reason; to restore their dignity. To the GOP there’s nothing more dignified than hunger.
Like the majority of his party, Pence thinks the minimum wage is way too high. No worries, he signed a law to cap it. Next, he repealed a law requiring the payment of “prevailing wages” to workers on public projects. This means construction companies can hire skilled labor for less than market value. Nice move for workers huh?
Pence’s Anti-Gay Bigotry
Mike Pence is a supporter of gay conversion therapy. This is the pseudo-science of “curing” gayness. Also known as “pray the gay away”, the idea is popular among the Christian Right. Pence went so far as to advocate spending tax dollars on this nonsense during his run for Congress. Could President Pence make the same push?
Of course this isn’t the veep’s only foray into anti-gay politics. As governor of Indiana he signed a law allowing LGBT discrimination. Under this law a business could with hold services based on sexual orientation. His record of bigotry also extends to his time in Congress. In 2007 he voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This law would have prohibited discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.
Pence Is Hardcore
So you see in many ways Mr. Pence would be our worst nightmare. A competent politician with very radical views. Who knows, his White House might have the skills to actually get things done? Some of these “things” might be pretty damn scary. How ever he comes to power, liberals will face one urgent request. The media will ask us to give this guy a chance, so the nation can “heal”. It will be hard to resist.
Don’t let the smile fool you. Pence is not some nice old guy who ran with Trump. His brand of conservative Republican politics is every bit as dangerous. But the man has different motivations. Doomsday theology. Pro-Christian bias. Faith in “free-market” solutions. A belief in protecting corporate interests at all costs. These evils may seem pedestrian. But they’re still evil. They lead me to conclude that Mike Pence would be an even worse president than Donald Trump.