Give Indiana Gov. Mike Pence credit where credit is due. He has succeeded in one thing, unfortunately that thing is making the state of Indiana look embarrassing on the national stage.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump selected Pence to be his vice presidential nominee in New York on Friday, and he couldn’t find a politician better suited to promote his divisive and inflammatory campaign.
During his term as Indiana’s governor, Pence promoted policies that time and time again divided Hoosiers.
Last year, he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill legalized discrimination against the LGBT community in Indiana and sparked a national outcry.
According to CNBC, businesses ranging from Cummins to Salesforce publicly condemned the measure.
The drama concerning the bill almost resulted in Indiana’s economy being damaged because of the state being perceived as hostile or unfriendly to LGBT people.
This year, Pence signed into law another controversial measure regarding a divisive social issue on the topic of abortion. According to the Washington Post, the bill prevented women from seeking an abortion if the fetus had a disability and required all aborted fetuses and or miscarriages be interred or cremated.
The New York Times stated the anti-abortion law “went further than any other state in the country and openly clashed with legal precedent.” Instead of focusing on policies that promote the rights of all Hoosiers, Pence pursued radical approaches on social issues during his term as governor.
The choice of Pence appears to be Trump’s olive branch to the Republican establishment that he can choose a running mate who supports most of the party’s base.
During the primary campaign Trump called for a temporary ban on all Muslims from entering the United States and called Mexican people rapists and drug dealers.
Rather than alienate Republican voters, these views attracted plenty of attention and votes from the Republican electorate, who overwhelmingly supported Trump as their nominee.
Trump is serious about winning the presidency, then, if his vice presidential pick is someone who pursues the same extremist viewpoints that Trump has embraced so far in the election cycle.
A lot can change between now and November. However, knowing the highest-elected official of our state is going to be campaigning and supporting alongside such an extremist candidate is incredibly disappointing to the image and reputation of the state of Indiana until election day.
Indiana is not a place of intolerance and divisiveness. Many Hoosiers want to see everyone treated equally under the law, and a woman’s right to privacy respected and cherished by the government.
But if Pence is elected alongside Trump in November, these values might be tossed overboard across the nation just as they have been abandoned in our state during the past four years.