With GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump indicating that he will choose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice president, Republicans and conservatives appear torn. Some critics of the selection have blasted Pence as a globalist neocon who supports the Obama-backed Common Core scheme, sovereignty-destroying “free trade” regimes, unconstitutional wars, and other deeply unpopular policies, rather than the Constitution and liberty. Other opponents have blasted Pence's surrender to extreme homosexual activists and corporate bullies last year demanding government aid in trampling religious liberty in Indiana. By contrast, the establishment media and some supporters of the selection claim Pence is a relatively solid conservative whose pro-life credentials and reputed social conservatism can help unify the conservative movement behind the Trump 2016 campaign.
So what is the truth? Perhaps something in between. But there are definitely reasons for conservatives, constitutionalists, libertarians, populists, nationalists, and others in Trump's coalition to be very concerned.
Indeed, Pence's record, first as a member of Congress from Indiana for six terms, and later as governor of the state, is a mixed bag at best. In Congress, as measured on The New American magazine's Freedom Index, which scores lawmakers based on their fidelity to the U.S. Constitution they swear to uphold, Pence scored 62 percent. While better than most Democrats and some establishment neocons and liberal "Republicans in Name Only" (RINOs), the score is hardly impressive — especially considering the fact that Pence, like all members of Congress, took an oath to defend the Constitution. While it certainly could be worse, there are more than a few votes Pence cast that should concern Trump supporters and all Americans.
During his 12 years in the House of Representatives, Pence often voted to fund globalist and neocon programs that are not authorized in the Constitution — including supporting spending bills squandering ultimately trillions of taxpayer dollars and running up massive trillion-dollar deficits for largely unconstitutional purposes. Pence also voted reliably to fund the panoply of globalist organizations, including the United Nations, the Export-Import Bank, and more, that undermine U.S. sovereignty and prosperity. The unconstitutional PATRIOT Act purporting to allow unconstitutional spying on Americans received his support, too. Incredibly, Pence even voted against an amendment that would have blocked the purported authorization of indefinite military detention of American citizens without trial. Why Pence thought Obama should be able to use the military to detain Americans without trial was not explained.
On matters of war, Pence has also sided with establishment globalists and neocons rather than the Constitution. For instance, the then-congressman voted to unconstitutionally surrender the power of Congress to declare war on more than one occasion. First, he supported giving then-President George W. Bush authority to wage an undeclared war against Iraq if and when the president decided to do so — a war that Trump has opposed. Pence even voted against an amendment to defund Obama's devastating and flatly illegal war against Libya, in which Obama relied on a UN resolution instead of a congressional declaration of war. As congressmen in both parties explained at the time, Obama should have been impeached for that criminal and potentially treasonous act alone. The fruits of those illegal wars are now clear, too, yet Pence has not apologized for supporting them while in Congress.
Beyond war, Pence has taken positions at odds with those of Trump and his supporters on crucial issues animating his campaign. Even on illegal immigration and amnesty, Pence has come under fire from key Trump supporters and boosters over his positions. A decade ago, when the Bush-backed amnesty schemes were being considered in Congress to legalize illegal immigrants, Pence responded with a proposal that would have allegedly led to increased border enforcement and no amnesty. Key opponents of amnesty, though, including Trump supporter and conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly, criticized the plan. Pat Buchanan lambasted Pence's proposal as “stealth amnesty.”
More recently, Pence slammed Trump's popular proposal to temporarily ban Islamic immigration as “offensive and unconstitutional” — a proposal that polls show is supported by most Americans and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. It was not immediately clear how many more Muslims Pence would like to see immigrating to America, whether he thinks taxpayers should foot the bill for the immigration, nor how (or if) he thought they should be vetted by authorities for security and health concerns. However, Pence did attempt, albeit half-heartedly, to block the joint UN-Obama administration importation of “Syrian refugees” to be resettled in Indiana at taxpayer expense.
On national sovereignty-destroying “free trade” schemes such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Pence has been a major cheerleader of globalism. “The time has come for all of us to urge the swift adoption of the Trans Pacific Partnership,” Pence declared on Twitter two years ago. By contrast, Trump has strongly opposed the globalist deals, both due to the economic havoc they have produced, and due to the surrender of national independence to transnational bureaucracies they bring about. Indeed, opposition to the pseudo-“free trade” regimes is a central plank of Trump's campaign and has earned him massive support from conservatives and liberals.
In supporting the globalist deals, Pence revealed that he does not appear to even understand what form of government America has, urging fellow lawmakers in 2005 to support Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) to promote “a dream of democracy.” The founders of America, of course, established a republic based on the rule of law, rather than a “democracy” based on the rule of men, which they thought was a poor form of government. Infowars, which has featured Trump as a guest on its popular and influential Alex Jones Show, compiled a massive list of pro-globalist “free trade” schemes Pence voted to support while in Congress — and it is not pretty, at least to those who value national sovereignty and support Trump's stated position on the issue.
Perhaps most controversial among recent actions by Pence has been his shameful surrender on religious liberty — a crucial American value — during his tenure as Indiana governor. Last year, as homosexual and LGBT extremists were working to bulldoze the First Amendment and force Americans to affirm homosexual “marriage” at government gunpoint, Republicans in Indiana passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The purpose was to protect Christians and others from being coerced into participating in sinful celebrations of faux “marriage” by, for example, having to bake homosexual-themed cakes or produce flower arrangements that affirm homosexual “weddings.”
At first, Pence was supportive of the effort to protect religious liberty in the face of an unconstitutional and fanatical assault against marriage and its supporters by extremists on the Supreme Court, who defied their oath to the Constitution and the truth by inventing a non-existent “constitutional right” to homosexual “marriage.” “We are not going to change this law,” Pence declared about the effort. However, as homosexual extremists and their allied bullies among Big Business started shrieking and threatening, Pence quickly caved.
On April 2, just one week after the bill was signed into law, Pence signed another bill essentially reversing the religious freedom protections in the act and purporting to force business owners to participate in the celebration of homosexuality at government gunpoint. Religious freedom in Indiana was worse off afterward than when the effort to protect it began — and Pence is largely to blame for surrendering. That is bad news for Trump and for conservatives — especially considering that Pence's primary claim to fame is his alleged “social conservatism.”
Before that, Pence helped oversee and facilitate a major deception against the people of Indiana that will do long-lasting damage to Hoosier children. As The New American reported in March of 2014, Pence and Indiana were among the first states to try to dupe citizens by replacing Common Core with a re-named and re-branded version of the Obama administration-backed, dumbed-down national “education” standards. Despite the deceptive celebrations and statements by Pence, the “new” Indiana standards are almost indistinguishable from the globalist-designed Common Core. According to experts, some 90 percent of Common Core was retained, allowing Indiana to continue receiving bribes from the Obama administration dispensed to states that surrendered control over education.
However, Pence has not been all bad news for conservatives. He is reported to be a Christian who has stood for protecting unborn children from tax-funded slaughter — a key concern of many Republicans who have been unconvinced by Trump's purported pro-life conversion. He also stood up to the unconstitutional bankster bailout while in Congress, tried to limit federal spending to one fifth of GDP, and, at least while in Congress, stood against the extreme homosexual agenda pushed by Obama and an increasingly radicalized Supreme Court. Finally, Pence also voted in favor of properly auditing the Federal Reserve.
Trump released the news about choosing Pence on Friday via Twitter. Citing the terrorist attack in Nice, though, he postponed the official press conference until Saturday. Analysts said Pence might be an attempt by Trump to soothe the globalist establishment. That may well be the case. However, while the selection could have been even worse — establishment globalist Newt Gingrich, for example, was floated as a possibility — Pence appears to be much more establishment-minded than the increasingly outraged American public. Ironically, in attempting to mollify the establishment, Trump may have hurt his own campaign. After all, the reason for his intense support among his base is the very fact that he is perceived as an enemy of the globalist, anti-American establishment that practically runs the federal government.
Even Trump supporters say Pence has a lot of work to do apologizing and building credibility if he hopes to unify conservatives and help Trump create a winning coalition to take the White House in 2016. However, at this point, with the ultra-unpopular Hillary Clinton as the alternative, aside from a few washed up neocons and establishment hacks who only pretended to be conservative, Trump is likely to do well and keep his voters no matter who he selected as his VP, short of Satan, perhaps, or Obama. Either way, concerned Americans should continue their efforts to build an educated electorate that understands the Constitution, helping to produce better candidates and voters for a brighter future.
Photo of Gov. Mike Pence: AP Images
(The New American never endorses candidates. Our purpose is to inform the electorate and enable them to draw their own conclusions.)