Mike Pence Visit Draws Vocal Protests

Posted on: May 20, 2018, by :

By Jeff Turner

Vice President and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence made a return trip to Indianapolis on May 18th, stopping by the Marriott downtown.  Assembled across the street were a group of about twenty-five protesters, many from the Indiana Democratic Party.

“We (IDP) are here protesting Mike Pence. We feel very strongly about the Vice President’s positions and policies, both now and as an Indiana Governor,” said Phil, an official with the IDP.

Originally in front of the hotel, police on scene made protesters stage their opposition across the street. Pence’s arrival was actually delayed due to some unscheduled stops, but nonetheless, this did not dissuade any of those present, who carried various signs, most notably “Fire Mike Pence,” a slogan that was very prominent during the 2016 gubernatorial race prior to Pence being tapped as Trump’s VP. Many people believe that Pence may very well have lost that election had he not been selected as Trump’s Vice President. But now that he is attached to the Trump brand, many Hoosiers want him gone more than ever.

“Mike Pence is here to represent an agenda that the Republicans are forcing upon this country that benefits a select few, that hurts hard working men and women, all to help a privileged few,” said Tom Sullivan, an activist who was in attendance. “I would ask Mr. Pence, since we both grew up in conservative families of the same practice (Catholic), how he can reconcile his beliefs with the agenda he is pushing upon the American people? There are a broad litany of issues in inconsistency with his faith.”

Before becoming an evangelical Republican, Pence was actually a Catholic Democrat. Around the time Ronald Reagan was first elected, however, Pence, as did many who once affiliated with the Democratic Party, became a Republican. Mr. Sullivan was also of the opinion that Mr. Trump would not be elected to a second term, which would effectively put Mr. Pence out of a job.

Many Hoosiers are increasingly alarmed by the rhetoric and actions of the Trump administration, as voiced by many of those in attendance. “So I think that the current administration is moving ever towards a fascist bent, and we need to do everything we can to stop it,” said Mike Vick, when asked why he came to the protest. He minced no words when sharing his thoughts on Mike Pence. “He goes out and sells whatever comes out of Trump’s mouth, whether it be a stupid tweet or something else. Pence is most likely smarter than Trump, (which) might not be a good thing. I think that Pence was the guy they shoved onto the Trump brand to make it more palatable for Middle America. There is no real difference between Pence and Trump. Pence is (just) a little less crude.”

Anna Foster, from Battleground, Indiana, was of a similar opinion. “I saw what he (Pence) did to this state while governor, (his) national disgrace with RFRA, privatizing construction of the roads, I-65 still not done. We’re still trying to clean up the pieces since he left.” When asked what she would say to Pence if ever given the chance to actually talk to him, Foster said, “I think that the perception that he puts up is very hypocritical. He portrays himself as a Christian, but comes off as hypocritical towards the LGBTQ community and now nationally against the Muslim community.” When she heard that Pence was once a Catholic Democrat, she said she could “kind of see it, but (Pence) doesn’t show his Christianity in his actions.”

Helen White, another in attendance, expanded on this point. “I think his Christian faith should be personal, but he governs according to his faith to exclude people.” This seemed to be the general consensus about Pence, an evangelical who wears his religion on his sleeve, using it to justify disastrous legislation such as RFRA while governor, and now helping Trump maintain the evangelical voters in his base. “His (Pence and Trump’s) agenda is to undo everything Obama did. I didn’t support him as Governor. Indiana had a surplus, but the needs of the people were not met,” White added.

Should Democrats retake the House in November, which appears likely, and attempts to impeach Trump, Pence wouldn’t actually be President unless 2/3 of the Senate actually voted to remove Trump from office. And while Democrats may well retake the Senate in November also (which is still considered at this point a longshot), they would only have a small majority.

As evidenced by the protesters here, the Trump Brand, more so than even RFRA, has tainted Mike Pence, making it so that even in the unlikely scenario he did become President due to Trump resigning or being removed from office, Pence would likely never be elected to a full term. For the former Catholic Democrat, who has had his eyes on the Presidency for quite some time, his ambition may well have cost him his ultimate dream. By allying himself with Trump, whatever disastrous lasting damage this administration does will forever be associated with the former Indiana Governor.

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