Most of us understand that policy issues are a secondary concern this election. So maybe Mike Pence, the unpopular governor of Indiana on the cusp of losing his reelection bid, has all the right elements to help Donald Trump succeed. In some ways, his pliability and lack of courage make him a model candidate for the 2016 Republican Party.
But before his principles became malleable— folding needlessly on both Obamacare expansion and religious freedom – the rumored veep pick still had some pretty strong and consistent conventional conservative economic position; position that conflict in every way with the overriding message of the Trump candidacy.
“Those are things we can do at home, but reducing tariffs and other trade barriers so that Indiana businesses can enjoy increased market access and fairly compete on the world stage is something that Congress must do. I encourage your support for Trade Promotion Authority, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and any other trade-related measures when they are brought before the Congress for consideration.”
How could someone who believes the above share a ticket with someone who likens trade agreements to rape? You don’t have to have complete unanimity to share a ticket. But trade isn’t just some inconsequential position Trump has conveniently landed on – like most of his politics. It (along with immigration; which is linked) is probably the only policy position the GOP presumptive nominee has been consistent and passionate about during the entire race.
It’s commendable that Pence has such passionate feelings about the religious freedom of immigrants. If only he had similarly moved to support the Christian institutions in his own state. But then again, one of these positions took a modicum of courage, and the other took none.