On July 15, 2016, CNN reported that Donald Trump selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate on the Republican ticket in the upcoming Presidential Election. Early that morning, Trump himself made the announcement via Twitter.
I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2016
Of course, the news that he chose Mike Pence instead of former Klansman and avowed white supremacist David Duke or former Alaska Governor Sarah “Caribou Barbie” Palin comes as no relief whatsoever. On the other hand, it comes as no surprise either, considering the news that the Republican Party has put together a particularly far-right convention platform for 2016. Just a cursory glance at Mike Pence’s political stance, voting record and policy decisions as Governor of Indiana would make livid any self-respecting person who wants the most good for the most people.
For example, in April 2016, Pence, who identifies as an Evangelical Christian, signed a bill into law prohibiting abortion on the basis of fetal chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s Syndrome. The law also nixes the donation of fetal tissue and mandates that fetuses not carried to term be buried or cremated, and places unconstitutional restrictions on Indiana’s abortion providers. He also enacted a law allowing Indiana businesses to refuse to serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender American citizens under the flimsy guise of “preserving religious freedom,” but amended the bill amid a fast and furious backlash.
Mike Pence’s stance on drug abuse is also particularly Medieval. Despite the current trend toward tackling the nation’s drug situation though a plan that emphasizes rehabilitation over incarceration, Pence reinstated mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related charges.
It is especially not surprising that Trump chose Pence, as the latter falls in lockstep with Trump’s bigoted, illogical and misinformed fearmongering about Muslims. In the wake of the series of coordinated attacks occurring in Paris France on the evening of November 13, 2015, Governor Pence issued an executive order blocking the resettlement of Syrian war refugees in Indiana and attempted to cut off federal aid to those already residing in the state. Fortunately, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt blocked his actions, contending:
“The State’s conduct clearly constitutes national origin discrimination. The State [has also] failed to prove that temporary national origin discrimination is any more constitutionally acceptable than permanent discrimination.”
As neither Donald Trump nor Mike Pence have much regard for the Constitution and less for the civil liberties of U.S. citizens, to elect this pair spells disaster for the United States. Full stop.