With less than 24 hours until the power is passed from President Barack Obama to President-elect Donald J. Trump, there is already talk of impeachment. For the next four years, Trump and vice-president-elect Mike Pence will be the duo filling the space that Vice-President Joe Biden and Obama are holding today.
While the nomination of Trump was met with enormous uproar, his impeachment would mean that Pence would immediately take the oath of office and be sworn in as 46th President of the United States.
On the morning of Nov. 8, Americans were surprised to wake up to the news of Trump’s victory. Many emotions of Trump’s victory swarmed Americans’ minds. Many Americans’ first instinct was that it couldn’t be right, and later reports showed that Trump had lost the popular vote by almost three million (or about three percent).
Pence, who served as the governor of Indiana prior to being elected alongside Trump, also has previous experience inside the US government which would suggest he has a hunch of how the government is run. Trump however, has held no previous political office.
While Trump may seem extremely conservative to some, Pence is farther right on the spectrum. Trump may waver more and be less clear about what he wants and believes, but Pence is clear about his stances. Many of his beliefs would take rights that many Americans have fought and suffered for.
When Is It a Woman’s Decision – Abortion
Pence has made it clear that he does not condone abortion; in fact he is extremely against it. He has voted against abortion numerous times as well as prohibiting federal funding on Planned Parenthood. he also voted no on stem cell research in May of 2005. Pence has received plenty of backlash from Americans who have supported Planned Parenthood, including various donations to the organization under his name. Pence receives a thank you note from each donation.
Trump has made allegations regarding Planned Parenthood’s work saying they do great work, just not abortions. “As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life,” Trump said, “I’m totally against abortion, having to do with Planned Parenthood. But millions and millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood. So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood that are helped greatly. And I wouldn’t fund it. I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. I don’t know what percentage it is. They say it’s 3%. But I would defund it, because I’m pro-life. But millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.” According to the Washington Post, only 3% of the work that Planned Parenthood does involve abortion, and the other 97% is made up of STD testing, cancer screening and prevention, contraception and other women’s services. Trump has made it clear he is pro-life, but still thinks Planned Parenthood does good work. Trump has also said he is against abortion in the ninth month of pregnancy. Compared to Pence however, he is not as conservative in his views in Planned Parenthood.
On the LGBTQ Community- LGBTQ Rights
Pence is extrememly conservative when it come to LGBTQ rights. In July of 2006 Pence voted constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman, making all other marriages illegal. Not only has Pence voted to make the marriages within the LGBTQ community illegal, he has voted against legislation designed to protect against anti-gay hate crimes in April of 2009.
Trump’s views on the rights of the LGBTQ community are more complicated and less consistent than those of Pence. In June of 2015 he stated that he was for “traditional” marriage but thinks that states are capable and should have the power to make their own decision on whether to allow same-sex marriage in their state or not.
While Trump’s view that the decision should be state-by-state is still not just or fair, Pence’s view that gay marriages should be made illegal nationwide is even more extreme and detrimental to civil rights. Pence also has implied that he is not interested in protecting the LGBTQ community against hate-crimes, essentially condoning hate crimes, which would expose the group to mental and physical abuse.
Fear For Public Education – Education
Pence has voted against $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges in March of 2006. In addition, he voted against $40 billion for green public schools.
Trump said he wanted to cut the Department of Education and common core in Oct 2015. Trump also appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos has never attended a public school, and neither have any of her four children and she doesn’t have a teaching degree. It has even been said by ‘The Intercept’ that she doesn’t fully support the separation of church and state. This makes her unqualified to be an advocate for public education in the United States.
The Earth We Live On – Energy, Oil and the Environment
Pence has also been against laws attempting to slow climate change voting no to enforce a limit on CO2 production in June of 2009. About one year prior in Feb. and May of 2008 Pence voted against tax incentives for renewable energy and energy production and conservation respectively. Pence has voted yes on deauthorizing “critical habitats” for endangered species in Sept. of 2005 and yes to speed up the approval of forest-thinning projects in Nov. 2003.
Trump’s views on energy and oil are similar to those of Pence. In Oct. of 2016 Trump stated that the EPA is “Killing these [America’s] energy companies.” Trump also does not believe in climate change, in fact he has stated that is was a hoax in June of 2015.
Fear for American Families – Family
In June of 2009 Pence voted no on a bill designed “To provide that 4 of the 12 weeks of parental leave made available to a Federal employee shall be paid leave, and for other purposes.” The bill passed the house but did not make it through the senate.
Trump’s paid leave plan proposed in Nov. of 2016 included six weeks of paid maternity leave and tax credits as well as other child-care credits for stay at home mothers. One’s initial reaction to this plan may be along the lines of “It’s not that bad”, especially when comparing it to Pence’s stance, not even allowing four weeks of paid parental leave. But when you think about this plan you realize something is missing. Men are not mentioned. Not even once. This plan implies that raising children is a women’s responsibility. There is only paid maternity leave, not paternity or parental leave and benefits are only offered to stay-at-home mothers. Fathers who stay home to take care of their children are not offered any of the benefits.
Staying Safe Within Our Borders – Homeland Security
Trump’s plan to build a barrier along the Southern border of the United States is not new, in fact in Sept. of 2006, Pence voted to build a fence dividing Mexico and the United States. Pence also voted to report illegal immigrants who receive hospital treatment, discouraging illegal immigrants to seek treatment for possibly life-threatening diseases and disorders. Pence even voted in July of 2002 to allow commercial airline pilots to carry guns, while passengers are on board.
Trump has suggested that we hold a national registry of Muslims in our country going so far as to call for surveillance of mosques and even calling for a ban on Muslims entering the country. Trumps ideas to increase homeland security are unconstitutional, they are dehumanizing and against the principles upon which America was founded. Trump also has made it clear on numerous occasions that he wants to build a wall to protect our borders. He has even referred to mexicans as rapists.
2 Views On The 2nd Amendment – Gun Rights
Trump has been consistent on the campaign trail as to why the United States should not heavily enforce gun control laws. Before Trump even ran for president, he said in Feb. of 2011 that he was against gun control. Then, in Oct. of 2015 he said gun violence will be inevitable and regulations won’t help. He also thinks gun ownership in the US makes us safer, and there should be no limit on guns. . He thinks there should be no guns for people on the terrorist watch-list. In his presidency he wants to appoint a Supreme Court judge who will respect the second amendment.
Pence has been more soft-spoken in recent years about gun control laws. He was graded an A by the NRA for pro-gun rights, and voted to ban gun registration and trigger lock law in DC. Both Trump and Pence are very conservative about gun control but Trump has been more adamant about making his views clear. Many Americans feel very strongly about the second amendment, and Trump won votes for being so clear about protecting it.
The Health of A Nation – Healthcare
In Jan. of 2009 Pence voted against yet another bill proposed to help lower class Americans. The bill was for the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. CHIP provides low-cost health insurance for families with income that is too high for them to qualify for MediCare. CHIP is offered in every state across America. The bill was passed, at the opposition of Pence, and was to expand the program by $35 billion over the following five years. Pence also has expressed his interest in removing the regulations on tobacco, saying smoking doesn’t kill, ignoring the statistics and the fact that 30% of all cancer deaths are caused by cigarettes according to the American Cancer Society. Pence is also in support of getting rid of Obamacare.
Trump and Pence agree in that they both are against Obamacare. On Jan. 13 a tweet from Pence read: “Thanks to today’s vote in Congress, we’re one step closer to repeal & replace of ObamaCare! Thanks go to @SpeakerRyan & @HouseGOP! #MAGA”.
Trump is suggesting that ObamaCare is replaced by his healthcare reform platform, though no formal plan has been presented yet. Regardless of his plan to replace ObamaCare, Trump also has some great views on mental health. Trump suggested that a mental health division be added to the V.A. in attempt to reduce veteran suicides. Trump stated, “Under my plan, if they have that long wait, they walk outside, they go to the local doctor, they choose the doctor, they choose the hospital, whether it’s public or private, they get themselves better. We will pay the bill.”
Trump’s views are consistently changing and wavering, he proposes laws and ideas and later changes his mind. The inconsistency in Trump’s beliefs can be scary, but if the strong views of Pence were to be acted upon countless rights could be taken away: the right for a woman to seek an abortion, the right for a
When Trump’s views are met with backlash and disgust, they change. For example, the Muslim ban. At the beginning of his campaign trail he proposed banning muslims from entering the United States, his view changed to allow a few exceptions, allowing Muslim friends to enter and Muslims serving in the US Military then Trump claimed that the ban was “just a suggestion”, saying, “We have a serious problem, and it’s a temporary ban – it hasn’t been called for yet, nobody’s done it, this is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”
A politician who makes blunt remarks, and changes them when American’s reacts poorly is not a politician who should hold the most powerful position in the world, but Pence has been extremely clear throughout his political career on his right wing ideas of how our country should be run and his ideals go against the very principles our country was founded upon. Trump was elected by the system in place, and the American people must deal with that for the next four years. Would it be better to focus on Trump’s impeachment, resulting in Pence taking office, or would it be better to protest legislation and spread awareness about certain actions Trump may try to take? It would be more appropriate to focus not on impeaching Trump, but on preventing him from getting elected for a second term in 2020 and protecting current legislation many Americans have fought to hard to pass.