The dream of all dreams in 2017 is the impeachment of Donald Trump. If the miraculous were to happen, we would face a new problem. With Trump out of the White House, Mike Pence would step up to take the reigns. The scary thing is Mike Pence is mildly competent at politics, at least much more competent than Trump. An article from the October 23rd issue of The New Yorker, titled “The Danger of President Pence,” compiled a history of Pence’s personal and political legacy. Here are six of the most bewildering, horrifying, and stupid facts about our current vice-president.
1. He is fervently anti-abortion.
Before Pence’s stint as governor of Indiana, he yelled, “Shut it down!” at a Tea Party rally, referring to Planned Parenthood. Pence threatened to shut down the federal government until Planned Parenthood was defunded. Then, when he was governor, he signed a bill that barred women from getting abortions due to physically abnormal fetuses and required fetal burial or cremation for both aborted and miscarried fetuses. Luckily, this bill was ruled unconstitutional.
2. He supports anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
In a Congressional campaign in 2000, Pence’s platform included a promise to oppose “any effort to recognize homosexuals as a discrete and insular minority entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws.” As governor of Indiana, Pence signed a bill titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. When looking closer, residents discovered the bill “essentially legalized discrimination against homosexuals by businesses in the state.”
According to The New Yorker: “Pete Buttigieg, the young gay mayor of South Bend, who is a rising figure in the Democratic Party, told me that he tried to talk to Pence about the legislation, which he felt would cause major economic damage to Indiana. ‘But he got this look in his eye,’ Buttigieg recalled. “‘He just inhabits a different reality. It’s very difficult for him to lay aside the social agenda. He’s a zealot’.”
Trump is reported to have joked about Pence’s opinions on gay rights by saying, “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all.”
3. He’s in the pockets of the Koch brothers.
Pence is the connection between the Trump administration and the pockets of billionaires. When Pence joined the Trump campaign, he brought along the Koch Brothers, worth an estimated 90 billion dollars, and other billionaires. Pence has a long career of working with organizations funded by a plethora of lobbyists. He has called climate change a myth, and he even wrote an essay in 2000 where he claimed, “smoking doesn’t kill.”
Per The New Yorker, “(Steve) Bannon is equally alarmed at the prospect of a Pence Presidency. He told me, ‘I’m concerned he’d be a President that the Kochs would own.’” The article also reports that sixteen high-ranking officials in the Trump administration have ties to the Koch brothers.
4. He used racist imagery to run a smear campaign.
Pence entered the political world after he choose to run for Congress in 1987, when he was 29 years old. He ran against the Democratic incumbent, Phil Sharp, and lost, but the two ran against each other again in 1990. During the campaign, it was reported he used campaign money to pay his mortgage and buy groceries. He also ran what was called a “nasty” campaign against Sharp. According to The New Yorker, “One ad featured an actor dressed in Middle Eastern garb and sunglasses, who accused Sharp, falsely, of being a tool of Arab oil interests.”
5. He turned away a family of Syrian refugees.
The deeply religious Pence, then governor of Indiana, was once asked by the Archdiocese of Indiana, Joseph Tobin, to reconsider his ban on the barrement of resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state. Pence refused, and the family was sent to Connecticut. The New Yorker reports, “I asked Cardinal Tobin if there was a Christian argument in support of turning the refugees away. After a pause, he quietly said, ‘No.’”
6. He compared Obamacare to 9/11.
Need we say more?
Top photo via Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore.
More from BUST
Kat Kothen-Hill is a BUST intern living in Brooklyn, NY.
Follow her on Twitter:@katkothenhill and on Instagram:kitkatkothenhill.