Why Trump’s running mate sucks, a lot
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
Mike Pence is the current Governor of Indiana. As of the time of this article, he is also the Vice-Presidential running mate of Donald Trump for the Republican Party. It is entirely possible this will change by the time you read this, or before the election on November 8. Ever the controversial (and awful) figure, Trump’s outrageous behaviour has caused many Republicans to denounce him. Many have called for his resignation and for Mike Pence to lead the Presidential ticket instead.
Although Pence may not be as insane or ridiculous as Trump, his policies are no better. In many ways, they are a lot worse.
Like many Republicans, Pence opposes same-sex marriage and gay people openly serving in the military. Pence signed a bill legalizing discrimination by allowing business owners to use “religious objections” in refusing service, although he later amended it to specifically prevent the LGBTQ+ from receiving this discrimination after a lot of controversy and backlash.
Even more disturbingly, Pence has advocated for funding and resources to be given to conversion therapy programs. These extremely controversial programs, which have been outlawed in some areas, use regressive “therapy” and outright abusive torture tactics to “cure” gay people of their sexuality. Many who enter these programs (usually against their will, forced by their family) commit suicide, and many more end up with trauma from the experience.
Pence signed a bill into law requiring remains from all fetuses, whether they be from abortions or miscarriages, to be buried or cremated. The law also made abortion illegal if the reason was a fetus’s race, sex, or disability. Being anti-abortion and believing fetuses are babies is not uncommon, but such a bizarre (and gross) law was unheard of before. It was struck down by courts for being unconstitutional, but attempting to make abortion illegal in America remains a Republican platform in this election.
Pence unsuccessfully attempted to ban Syrian refugees from entering the state of Indiana, as well as cut off federal funding for a charity group designed to help them get re-settled. Unlike his running mate, Pence does not support a blanket ban of Muslims entering the US. However, he remains, arguably, Trump’s biggest political supporter, and by proxy supports a platform banning refugee immigrants. Such actions and beliefs are not only not-so-slightly xenophobic and racist, but contrary to American (and moral) values of welcoming new citizens. If such refugees were white and Christian, I bet Pence would change his attitude, and fast.
In the extremely unlikely event Donald Trump wins this election, Mike Pence will most likely do most of his work for him. Unlike Trump, Pence has political experience and knowledge. He has been specifically cited as being in charge of “domestic and foreign policy” in a Trump administration—i.e., pretty much everything. In the increasingly likely event that Trump is fired or is somehow convinced to resign, Mike will be the presidential nominee. I’m terrified of a President Trump, but a Pence administration would also be terrible for millions of Americans.
A lot of jokes have been made about Mike Pence. He looks like someone who’s about to transform into Mystique. He looks like a super strict conservative dad who secretly has a massive gay porn collection. Seriously, Pence once wrote an op-ed criticizing Disney’s Mulan for being liberal propaganda of women serving in the military. A lot of it seems almost funny, but there’s nothing funny about what Pence believes in, or his oppressive policies. Donald Trump represents outsider evil, but Pence represents the conventional evil that was already deeply ingrained in the Republican Party. As observed by many, “Trump may remind you of the man who assaulted you—but Mike Pence is the judge who let him get away with it.”