Trump Pence Pick: Way Too Little, Way Too Late

Mike Pence (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Mike Pence (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Word is out on the streets now that presumptive “Republican” presidential nominee has picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate.

Many have speculated that Trump chose Pence because Pence has long been known as a solid conservative, and there is almost literally no end to ways in which Donald Trump is NOT a conservative, much less a solid one.

It’s true that Pence’s longstanding reputation is one of solid conservatism. It was only  three of years ago that Pence pleased conservatives by calling for a hold on Indiana’s adoption of Common Core education standards. Pence has also been a foe of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. He has been a friend to the Tea Party.

Pence has toyed with the idea of running for president in the past, and a few years ago I would have given him extremely strong consideration as the kind of dedicated conservative this country needs to get us off the path of Leftist destruction and back to the values that made us the greatest nation on earth in the first place.

But Pence threw a lot of cold water on his “reliable conservative” creds last year when he turned Indiana’s efforts to protect religious liberty on their head and instead rewarded radical homosexual activists with a bait-and-switch which undermined religious liberty.  This betrayal, however critical and fundamental, does not erase all of the good Pence has done in the past, but in the modern day and age of betrayal after betrayal after betrayal by figures we could once count on, the wise person has to question whether Pence has now begun a pattern of selling out conservative principles.  A year later, it may be too early to tell either way, but when the White House is involved, this is not the time to be playing around with someone who has recently waffled and caved on such a fundamentally important freedom.

So what does having Mike Pence on a Donald Trump ticket do for a committed conservative who finds Donald Trump a fraudulent mockery of Republicanism?  Not a whole lot.

Woodrow Wilcox


Even if it weren’t for doubts about Pence’s commitment to freedom and conservative values, it would take a lot–a LOT–to get me to seriously rethink my inability to support Donald Trump for president. First of all, one has to wonder if even a great #2 on a ticket could overcome Trump’s astronomical unfavorables and motivate enough Americans to hold their nose and vote for a Democrat with an “R” after his name (i.e. a RINO) over an out-of-the-closet Democrat like Hillary Clinton; would stuffing one’s principles into a dirty sock and voting for Trump really be worth that kind of wild roll of the dice?  For me, the answer is a solid: NO.

Furthermore, the country would have to survive 4-8 years of Trump’s shallow policies of “great,” as well as his near same-sentence back-and-forth vacillation where he takes multiple positions on the same issue. That is, assuming he wouldn’t just default back to the liberal positions he’s held for the past 30 years, once he’s secured the office and no longer needs to pander to conservatives for their vote.  The liberalism Trump has spent thousands and thousands of dollars funding is the path that has been poisoning this nation for a long time, and it won’t take much more of it to finish us off as a great nation capable of recovering.

The only VP candidate who could move me from a “NO” to a “I’ll have to think real hard about that one” would be Ted Cruz–the best hope this nation has had since Ronald Reagan. Even then, I don’t know if the 4-8 year wait would be worth the boost being VP would give to Cruz at the end of Trump’s time in the White House (assuming, again, enough people would hold their nose in November 2016 and choose stealth Democrat over an official one).

Remember, a vice president has no official input in policy or governance.  The VP doesn’t really do anything for the country. It is, as described by our nation’s first Vice President, “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”

The best that a vice president can do is lend advice to a president. Donald Trump hasn’t exactly established a track record of listening to anybody, much less listening to conservative advice. If conservatives are counting on a conservative VP to help prop up and keep a liberal like Donald Trump on the right path, experience and evidence indicates that is a foolish hope. Since Pence folded like a cheap suit to the radical Left on an important issue like religious liberty, can you really rationally expect him to be forceful in pointing the crass and bombastic Trump in the right direction (at a time when Trump would already be in the White House and no longer in need of the voters or anything that Pence could bring to the ticket)?

The only practical function a vice president has is to provide a ready replacement for the president if the president becomes incapable of serving as president (usually through unexpected death).  However, I don’t exactly think voting for a president that I hope will die as soon as possible so a good VP can replace him is really practical, much less something the Savior I seek to serve would smile upon me for doing.

If you understand that Donald Trump is little more than a liberal-with-an-“R”-after-his-name, but believe that he would be less harmful to the United States than Hillary Clinton, and feel compelled to vote for him to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president, I understand that and can respect it to a great degree. I have voted for the lesser of two evils many times in the past–though I don’t know if any of those “evils” have ever been as pathetic as Trump.  Hillary Clinton will definitely continue the devastation that Barack Obama has advanced, and her level of personal and political corruption will only further this nation’s demise.  Trump probably won’t do quite as much intentional damage (though it’s debatable), and might possibly stumble into doing something right on occasion. I don’t think that wild hope is enough to convince me to ignore my integrity and better sense, but that’s a decision every person must make for themselves in these dire times.

For me, however,  as I’ve outlined before, the list of reasons why I can’t support faker Donald Trump is long, deep, and profound. Even if Pence hadn’t betrayed our First Freedom a year ago, I don’t think Pence on the ticket would be enough to clean the feces off the wall of Trump’s credibility.

UPDATE: If you think I was too hard on Mike Pence, the thoughts of Joy Pullmann and David Harsanyi might make you feel a little better. Or not.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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