By now, most of America has gotten to know Donald Trump’s brand of extremism—and just how dangerous he would be for America. But Trump’s newly announced running mate manages to give his own bigotry and hatred a run for its money: Trump has chosen the most extreme vice presidential pick in a generation.
Meet Mike Pence, current governor of Indiana and would-be disaster for America.
1. He led efforts to defund Planned Parenthood nationwide.
Republicans across the country have been strategically chipping away at a woman’s right to reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion. Trump’s running mate is one of them. He has a long record of attacking Planned Parenthood: Pence was willing to shut down the federal government over defunding Planned Parenthood when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pence’s constant attempts to defund Planned Parenthood have put a barrier between women and their ability to access critical health care services like cancer screenings, contraception, and safe, legal abortion. Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, described Pence’s actions as “the most dangerous legislative assault on women’s health in Planned Parenthood’s 95-year history.”
2. He’d totally outlaw abortion.
Remember when Trump said that women should be “punished” for seeking abortions? Well, Pence actually passed legislation that made Indiana one of the most restrictive states for abortion, and he says he “longs for the day that Roe v. Wade is sent to the ash heap of history.”
3. He signed a law allowing discrimination against LGBT people.
Despite major protests from LGBT Americans and their families—as well as small businesses and companies like Apple—Governor Pence signed into law the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which allows Indiana businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals.
Pence’s deep-seeded hatred toward LGBT Americans isn’t new. In fact, when he was in Congress, Pence penned a guide for “Renewing the American Dream,” which included asking Congress to oppose marriage equality for LGBT Americans and any effort to ban discrimination against them. And it doesn’t end there: Pence has also asked Congress to redirect funding for HIV and AIDS treatment to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior”—even though so-called “conversion therapy” has been widely discredited by medical experts.
Pence’s real plan for “Renewing the American Dream” is to discriminate against those who are different than him. With nearly 65 percent of LGBT individuals reporting discrimination in their daily lives, we cannot afford to turn back the clock on our fight for full federal equality for LGBT Americans.
4. He opposes comprehensive immigration reform.
Trump has said he would assemble a deportation force to round up and remove 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., and he would overturn President Obama’s executive orders on immigration that are aimed at keeping millions of immigrant families together.
His new running mate actually co-sponsored the Birthright Citizenship Act during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives. That legislation would have denied citizenship to many children born in the United States to immigrant parents. And he’s been a vocal opponent of efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
(For comparison’s sake, here’s what a strategic plan for comprehensive immigration reform looks like.)
5. He cut millions out of Indiana’s higher education budget to pay for corporate tax cuts.
As Indiana faced a budget shortfall, Pence signed a law giving huge tax cuts to Indiana corporations. Just months later, he tried to balance the books by cutting millions out of Indiana’s higher education budget.
His record on education is dismal generally: Despite the fact that early childhood education is among the best investments we can make, Pence refused to accept federal grant money that would have helped Indiana families access preschool.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence aren’t just trying to build a wall between America and Mexico—they’re trying to wall Americans off from each other.
Trump might be impressed by Pence, but America certainly won’t be. From restricting a woman’s right to reproductive health care to allowing discrimination against LGBT people to wreaking havoc on our education system, Trump and Pence would tear our country apart.
Hillary is the only thing standing in the way of a Trump-Pence White House, and she needs your help. We need to stand up to Trump and Pence and tell them: In America we won’t tolerate bigotry and hatred. We are stronger together.
Trump and Pence: building a wall between America and progress.