Where Donald Trump is undisciplined and entertaining, Mike Pence is very disciplined and boring. But that discipline will not benefit the Americans at large.
Pence: Worse than Trump
It could be argued, superficially, that where Trump is undisciplined and highly entertaining, Pence is somewhat more disciplined and very low-profile, perhaps even boring. The actual news is far worse.
Vice President Pence is a complete nutcase, to put it bluntly. Where Trump adopts extreme positions to stay in the news, Pence’s views are actually built on conviction.
Pence is, admittedly, smoother than Trump. But his folksy Midwestern demeanor masks extreme views. As early as June 2006, when he was a U.S. Representative for Indiana, Pence introduced legislation for “self deportation” as part of immigration reform.
It was one of 90 bills and resolutions he introduced while in Congress, none of which ever passed in 12 years, most of which he served in the majority (thus giving him a powerful perch to craft legislation that passes).
As outwardly smooth a Republican all-star operator as Pence comes across, that is a devastating statistic. It underscores that he is a conservative radical, not a bridge-builder and consensus seeker.
The stereotype of a wolf in a sheep’s clothing captures Pence quite well.
.. Pence also presided over a large outbreak of HIV in his home state of Indiana that stemmed from the ongoing U.S. opioid crisis. Rather than moving speedily to resolve the crisis, he hemmed and hawed publicly over whether an emergency needle-exchange program would conflict with his decades of strident anti-drug policy.
.. Cheney but worse
If Pence were to become U.S. President, it could truly spell the end to many liberties. He is more dangerous than Cheney (as far as U.S. domestic politics are concerned).
On foreign policy, purely by contrast to Trump, he appears to be more predictable and therefore more acceptable to other nations. In reality, he is Cheney-esque, with a fondness for “enhanced interrogation” (= torture) and a fondness for military interventions.
.. Aside from his likely unpredictability abroad, where he would have the least restraint as president, domestically, a Pence Presidency would mean the true arrival of Speaker Paul Ryan’s public disinvestment agenda.
.. The Pence-Ryan agenda, outlined in the 2012 “Ryan Plan” and already hinted at by White House Budget Director (and former House member) Mick Mulvaney, calls for slashing U.S. social welfare programs to ribbons purportedly to balance the budget, even if they have little to no budgetary impact.
.. It is important to realize that Mike Pence and Paul Ryan are not targeting generous, European-style social welfare programs. They do not exist in the United States.
The Midwestern duo consider basic programs as excessive that serve as many people’s last line of defense between scraping by and sheer destitution.
Mike Pence and Paul Ryan would voucherize Medicare that keeps elderly Americans healthy. They would obliterate the food benefits that keep families from starving to death.
They would roll back the Medicaid program that gives poor and disabled Americans healthcare access and pays for elderly Americans’ nursing homes. Social Security privatization would likely follow.
Even the United States’ already severely underfunded budgets for infrastructure repair would be cut to the bone. Pence and Ryan would be a disaster for the long-term future health of the United States, its allies and its economic partners.