The role of Vice President is an often vague and sometimes unimportant position. However, in the increasingly eventful and turbulent Trump administration, Vice President Mike Pence has faced an array of unprecedented challenges — including grappling with the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout Trump’s presidency — and particularly in its final days — we witnessed a demonstration of Pence’s true character. He is a good man, an honorable man, and a determined man, all characteristics which are scarce among modern politicians. In the last four years, he has been prodded, chastised, and condemned by every side, but has emerged unscathed and — more importantly — as an example of what American leadership could be.
Pence the “religious zealot”
Since Trump’s unexpected electoral victory in 2016, Pence has been presented by the Left as the “religious zealot” required to mischaracterize American Christians. While Trump’s administration was riddled with public squabbles — often broadcast in real-time on Twitter — Pence often stood as a lone source of decency and dignity. When Pete Buttigieg pivoted to present himself as a pseudo-religious alternative for moderate conservatives, he openly attacked Pence as homophobe, hoping to capitalize on his own sexuality while playing up Pence’s supposed religious bigotry.
“If you got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me — your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” Buttigieg said in his rehearsed Obama-like oratory style. While others in the Trump administration — and certainly the president himself — would have responded defensively, or even aggressively, Pence’s response was an exhibition of discipline and control much lacking in the executive branch. “He knows better. He knows me.”
Pence the “sexist”
After the chaos of the first presidential debate between Trump and Biden, all eyes were on October’s vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.
Instead of the geriatric fever dream that was the first Trump-Biden debate, Pence delivered what conservatives should have demanded of the president. He was considered, calm, but uncompromising. He refused to let Harris avoid key issues, he punished her for her lies, and all while maintaining a polite and considered manner.
The Left’s response to Pence’s obvious victory was to ignore the substance of the debate entirely, and focus on “sexism.” Harris, a former District Attorney, Attorney General, and US Senator, suddenly became a maiden in need of defending as Dan Rather and George Stephanopolous arrived as her knights in shining armor to disqualify Pence for “mansplaining.”
Pence the “traitor”
The weeks following the election on November 3rd will be remembered as some of the darkest in modern American history, culminating in the despicable riots in Washington, D.C. on January 6th. While the chaos which caused this vacuum of reason was driven by multiple factors, it’s undeniable that one was Trump’s insistence on refusing to accept electoral defeat, pushing increasingly unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Not only was this narrative ultimately fruitless, it almost certainly drove down voter turnout in Georgia, thereby handing the US Senate over to the Democrats.
As we approached the confirmation of the electoral college, which would cement Joe Biden as President-elect, Trump reportedly turned on — arguably — his most reliable teammate. According to the New York Times, Trump pressured Pence to overturn the election, telling his Vice President that “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a pussy.” At a rally on January 4th, Trump presented Pence as the last hope for victory, saying “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us.”
When Pence followed the law and did his duty as Vice President of the United States, he was viewed as an enemy by those who had believed the claims of Trump and the voices he had elevated around him, with chants of “Hang Mike Pence” ringing out as rioters stormed the US Capitol building.
There is a famous quote from Roy Bennett, “Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular.”
Throughout his time as Vice President, whether being accused of homophobia, sexism, or treason, Mike Pence did what was right.
The Left will attempt to erase Pence’s legacy as one that is tarnished, and some on the Right will see him as the man who failed when they needed him most.
Instead, Mike Pence should be commended for doing what was right, despite it being far from easy and far from popular.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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