Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016--Vice President Mike Pence

If there are moderates flirting with the idea of voting for Donald Trump, take a close look at who's in his caboose and would be, if Trump were elected, one proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency.

Mike Pence.

A recent piece in the New York Times, "A Conservative Proudly Out of Step With His Times," summarizes some of Governor Pence's extremist views--

In 1998, long after it was indisputably proven that cigarette smoking causes cancer, Pence mocked the requirement to include warning labels on cigarette packs, calling it "hysteria." He wrote, "Time for a quick reality check--smoking doesn't kill." He has yet to retract this view.

During George W. Bush's first year in office, when Republicans overwhelmingly were supporting a Medicare prescription drug benefit and a major education reform program, No Child Left Behind, then congressman Pence voted against both.

He wears his fundamentalist beliefs on his sleeve, calling his Christian faith more important to him than even his family. And he is so abstemious that he once said, "to avoid temptation," he would only appear at an event where alcohol is served if his wife were present. (Trump, by the way is a teetotaler not for religious reasons but because his brother died of alcoholism.)

Pence opposes abortion under any and all circumstances, even if it has been determined that the fetus has Down syndrome.

He so passionately opposes same-sex rights that, as governor, last year he worked hard to get the Indiana legislature to pass a law that would make it easier for religious conservatives to refuse service to gay couples. A version of Jim Crow laws designed not to exclude African Americans but homosexuals.

It was only after there were threats from numerous national organizations and businesses that they would boycott Indiana that Pence reluctantly relented.

Though a President Trump would not agree with most of these views, there is always the danger that a Vice President Pence would at any moment wind up in the Oval Office as President Pence.

Even by comparison Newt Gingrich or Chris Christie would look good.

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