Mike Pence is the current governor of Indiana and Donald Trump’s Republican running mate in the 2016 presidential election. The possibility of Pence becoming vice president is one of the most overlooked catastrophes waiting to happen to the people of the United States.
Pence is a staunch social and fiscal conservative who puts his own personal faith and antiquated beliefs at the forefront of his political platform.
In an official capacity, the vice president’s only substantial power is breaking tie votes in the U.S. Senate. The vice president also becomes the president should the standing president die, be rendered unable to perform presidential duties, leave or be removed from office.
But the danger of a Pence vice presidency doesn’t come from his official duty. The danger stems from his potential influence over Trump, a political neophyte who wishes to be president of the United States.
Trump has no experience as a public servant. He never served as a governor, senator, city councilman, or even in the military. Sure, Trump does have experience as a businessman working with the political system. However, there is a big difference between working with the system and working in the system.
Trump lacks the political experience to achieve his goals on the beltway, nor does he understand intricate political systems like those with years of public service.
To compensate for his ignorance, Trump will need to rely on experienced political advisers to give him knowledge and influence him into making sound decisions. Pence, as his vice president, would be a major voice in Trump’s ear and his most notable adviser to the public should Trump win the presidency.
The opportunity for Pence to influence Trump is a disastrous one. A group of moderate Republican advisers could work with Trump to level out his political platform to one that’s more supported by both parties. Pence will drive Trump’s platform far more to the conservative side and alienate moderate Republicans and Democrats.
Pence is fine when it comes to issues involving budgets. He has done a good job balancing Indiana’s budget and keeping the state’s debt at a reasonable level. It’s his social policies that make him a dangerous man.
Pence has been vocal in his anti-LGBTQ stance and has said in a Trump presidency he would support Trump in nominating a justice who would overturn the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling prohibiting states from disallowing marriage equality.
But he removed any doubt that he was anti-LGBTQ with his voting record during his 12 years as a congressman. In 2004, he voted yes on a proposal for an amendment to the Constitution that would only allow hetero-monogamous marriage in the U.S.
Pence voted no on the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which called for greater enforcement of hate crime laws in the U.S. Pence also voted no on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007, drafted to prohibit workplace discrimination including on the basis of sexual orientation.
Pence’s anti-LGBTQ voting record is reason to believe he will influence Trump to veto any bill that comes to his desk that calls for greater protections for LGBTQ citizens.
Trump himself has shown inconsistency in his stance on LGBTQ rights. His running mate Pence, on the other hand, will consistently oppose their rights, whether it is in regard to marriage or workplace equality.
Pence also wants to take away federal funding from Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions. This is just another example of Pence not caring about what’s good for the American people.
Xavier Johnson is scene editor of The Advocate. Contact him at xjo[email protected]