Well if we truly live in the darkest timeline, your next Vice President of the United States
We’ve talked about Mike Pence for a bit before the Republican National Convention started. In many ways, he’s the guy that Donald Trump needed to pick as his Vice President if he was genuinely serious about bringing the Republican Party together at the RNC. How you ask? Let us explain!
So Who the Hell is Mike Pence? Other than Trump’s VP Pick.
Mike Pence has been in politics for a while now. After two failed Congressional campaigns in 1988 and 1990, he finally was able to break through and win a U.S. Congressional race in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. He was an Indiana Representative from 2000 to 2012 where he then became Governor of Indiana.
Ok So We Know He’s a Republican, But How Conservative is He Really?
Socially speaking, he’s EXTREMELY conservative. He’s been a longtime Pro-Lifer and a strong opponent of Planned Parenthood. You know how every Republican presidential candidate said they wanted to defund Planned Parenthood? Well that was originally Pence’s idea! Back in 2007, when Pence was an Indiana Representative, he originally pushed for legislation to defund the women’s health group, then by 2011 it was passed by the House!
Well Just About Every Republican in Modern Politics is Pro-Life, How About Issues Dealing with the LGBT Rights?
He’s just as big of an opponent on LGBT rights as he is with abortion rights! As Governor of Indiana he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law which protects “religious liberties” by having some groups deny services to the LGBT community. Remember the whole debate on religious liberty when a baker felt their religious beliefs were not being respected because they were obligated to bake a cake for a gay wedding due to civil rights laws, even though his religious beliefs were against gay marriage? Yeah, well the RFRA essentially backed the baker’s right to deny service to a gay couple. Because Pence fiercely backed the RFRA, the LGBT community felt their rights were never respected in Indiana under his governorship. So yeah, he’s a real hardliner against LGBT rights, which makes this video of Trump almost-kinda kissing Pence that much funnier!
Wow, So He’s a Social Conservative Then!
Most definitely! In fact, some of his views on abortion and LGBT rights were considered to be outliers for Republicans back in the early-2000’s. But as American society became more accepting of LGBT rights and the public generally started to look at abortion access as a women’s health issue, Republicans started to move more conservative on the subject and adopt similar social stances as Pence had when he came into office.
Is He a Fiscal Conservative as Well?
Oh yeah! The Tax Policy Center paints him as a staunch fiscal conservative, that cut taxes in Indiana consistently during his time as governor. Through his 3.4% flat tax, he made Indiana the second lowest state income tax rate in the country and killed the state’s long standing inheritance tax. But critics say because of these tax cuts, many vital state programs were also cut so he could keep the state’s spending rate below inflation.
He Looks to Be a Pretty Staunch Republican. Is There an Issue in Which He Moved Away from the Party’s Line?
Interestingly enough, there is! It revolves around of all things the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)! Specifically, the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Program! Granted Pence was able to make some changes to the original language, like making Medicaid recipients pay into a health savings account, but he definitely showed some flexibility when it came to the implementation of the ACA in Indiana. Which you can’t say for many conservative governors.
So Why Did Donald Trump Pick Him as His VP Pick Again?
Because Trump needed someone with credibility among social conservatives and Pence has that in spades! Also among the GOP Establishment, Pence has some standing with them as well, so it is a really good pick for unifying the Republican Party.
Ok, But What About in Terms of the General Election?
Honestly, it’s probably a net zero! Donald Trump is such a cult of personality that whoever the VP would have been, for the general public anyway, he would eclipse them. Pence is no exception. From the looks of it, Pence was essentially an olive branch to other parts of the Republican Party. But how the RNC has been this week, Trump might have to do more than picking Pence as his VP.
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