Today, Mike Pence officially announced his candidacy for president, joining a crowded field of GOP contenders. While some may argue that Pence is not as awful as former President Donald Trump or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, it is important to recognize the many reasons why Pence should be vehemently opposed and avoided at all costs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the actions and beliefs that make him unfit for the title of “Mr. President.”
Undermining Democracy and Failing to Testify: Contrary to the narrative that emerged after the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Pence was far from a hero. According to the book “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Pence actively tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election, doing “everything” he could to stop its certification. Despite eventually being forced to testify as part of an investigation, Pence initially resisted, even though he faced threats and blame from Trump himself. Pence’s delayed acknowledgement of Trump’s responsibility for the events of January 6 speaks volumes about his loyalty and raises questions about his commitment to the truth.
The Attack on Reproductive Rights: Pence has made it abundantly clear that he aims to strip pregnant individuals of their rights. With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Pence enthusiastically declared his commitment to ensuring that abortion is outlawed in every state. His support for a national abortion ban at just six weeks of pregnancy disregards the realities faced by individuals who may not even be aware they are pregnant at such an early stage. Pence’s extreme stance on reproductive rights threatens the autonomy and well-being of countless individuals across the nation.
Negligence in the Face of Health Crises: During his tenure as governor of Indiana, Pence’s policies directly contributed to the state’s worst HIV outbreak. His decision to cut public health spending led to the closure of the sole Planned Parenthood clinic in Scott County, which had been providing crucial HIV testing services. As a result, the outbreak quickly escalated due to the sharing of needles among opioid users. Despite mounting evidence that clean needle distribution was an effective strategy to combat the crisis, Pence opposed it, stating his belief that it went against effective antidrug policy. His delayed response and reliance on prayer over scientific evidence further exacerbated the situation, leading to unnecessary suffering and preventable harm.
Outdated Views on Science and LGBTQ+ Rights: Pence’s regressive beliefs extend beyond public health issues. As early as 2016, he publicly expressed doubts about the theory of evolution, raising concerns about his ability to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence. Furthermore, his language surrounding LGBTQ+ issues, such as his references to “changing sexual behavior,” has been criticized as thinly veiled homophobia. Pence’s alignment with conversion therapy, a harmful and discredited practice, demonstrates a lack of empathy and understanding for the LGBTQ+ community.
Denial of Established Facts: Pence’s disregard for scientific consensus extends to denying the link between smoking and lung cancer. Despite overwhelming evidence, he boldly claimed that smoking does not kill—a statement that flies in the face of decades of research and public health efforts to combat smoking-related illnesses.
Insensitive Remarks and Blind Loyalty: In more recent times, Pence has displayed a concerning lack of empathy and poor judgment. His willingness to make homophobic jokes in 2023, as well as jokes about postpartum depression, is deeply troubling. Such behavior reveals a fundamental lack of respect for marginalized communities and a failure to understand the gravity of mental health challenges faced by many individuals.
In conclusion, as Mike Pence throws his hat into the presidential ring, it is crucial to recognize the alarming aspects of his political career and personal beliefs.