There has been talk of impeaching our so-called president, Donald Trump since before he took office, and rightly so. Considering Trump could be the worst president that America has ever had, and now because of the horrific events in Charlottesville last weekend, serious talk of impeachment has come back stronger than ever before, due to Trump’s insufficient and grudgingly delivered response about white supremacy and neo-nazis.
Saturday, a large group of Nazis and racists from the KKK gathered in Charlottesville bringing guns and brandishing Confederate flags and swastikas. Counter protesters came to oppose racists in their city, and fighting broke out between the groups. This ended in multiple people injured and one young woman, Heather Heyer, dead after a white supremacist rammed a car into the crowd.
President Trump’s first response was weak and insufficient, condemning violence in general and not even mentioning the offending hate groups by name. After criticism, he mentions the KKK and neo-nazis, but came back to correct himself, telling us that there were “very fine people” among the nazis and the KKK and that “both sides” were at fault.
This event has sparked international outrage, and many people feel that they aren’t able to overlook the fact that the President of the United States of America practically endorses White Supremacy from his cabinet to white terrorists assaulting and killing Americans in the street. Impeaching Trump is the obvious thing to do… But is not the end of our fight. White supremacy did not just pop up into America because of Trump. This is something that has been present in America since the Europeans stepped foot on the continent and will continue to be an issue for a long time.
It’s time to start thinking about who is going to fill Donald Trump’s shoes if and when he gets impeached. Make no mistake, anyone who voted or supported Donald Trump is a racist, and this is also true for Mike Pence. Mike Pence is White Supremacy wrapped up with a little bow. He is Trump in a tailored suit with better hair, and he will likely be just as bad as Trump. He’s a Trump that subscribes to tone policing. He’s stayed quiet and in the back, but if we are going to take the Presidency away from Trump, we need to keep it from anyone in Trump’s administration. If Trump’s impeached, his administration will continue his work for him.
We have to protest Pence too. We have to be- dare I say it- more radical. Trump’s entire platform is one of racism and bigotry, and Pence is standing behind Trump all the way. He’s even endorsing Trump’s pathetic speech about Charlottesville, stating “I stand with the president, and I stand by those words.” So why aren’t we calling this man out?
Pence is an Evangelical Christian and has a history of sexism. He follows the Billy Graham rule, which means he won’t meet alone with any woman other than his wife. This implies that contact with women is somehow intrinsically sexual and implies that women are not capable of being professional when they are alone with any man.
He is also very strongly anti-choice. He voted for a bill that defunded Planned Parenthood in Indiana in 2011. Then as Governor in 2013, the only Planned Parenthood in Scott County, also the only HIV testing center, was forced to close due to budget cuts. 20% of the county lived under the poverty line and intravenous drug use was a large problem. He also, unfortunately, opposed needle exchange programs. He didn’t want to support programs “that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus.” He wanted to fund “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” A large HIV outbreak was the result. It was multiple months later when he finally allowed needle exchange programs.
He went even further when, he signed a law in 2016 that would have restricted the right to choose even more, making it even harder to have an abortion. The law would have restricted the reasons that the person could obtain an abortion for, criminalize the life-saving transfer of fetal tissue, and for the pregnant person to view an ultrasound before obtaining the procedure. It also would’ve put liability on providers that didn’t follow these rules. Perhaps even more bizarre, it would’ve required funerals to be performed for aborted or miscarried fetuses. Thankfully it didn’t pass…That time.
If you still think Mike Pence is going to be any better with racism. You’ll be surprised that Pence has a lot in common with Trump in this department, as Pence couldn’t even disavow David Duke, the literal leader of the KKK by calling him deplorable, despite him being the literal definition of the word. He justified this with “No, I’m not in the name calling business…”
David Duke approved of this to Buzzfeed: “It’s good to see an individual like Pence and others start to reject this absolute controlled media,” adding later “The truth is the Republican Party is big tent. I served in the Republican caucus. I was in the Republican caucus in the legislature. I had a perfect Republican voting record. It’s ridiculous that they attack me because of my involvement in that nonviolent Klan four decades ago.”
At least he’s quick when we have environmental concerns though right? Wrong. When Greentown, Indiana (97% White) tested high for lead in their water, he responded rather quickly to assist. However, when East Chicago (43% Black and 51% Latino) had a lead crisis in the soil, he was silent, despite the issue being even more pressing. Greentown’s lead level was 20 parts per billion as compared to the limit of 15 parts per billion. East Chicago’s soil was 91,000 parts per million, 227 times the limit! 20% of children under seven had elevated lead levels in their blood as compared to 2% nationwide. And they were ignored by their Governor.
Pence isn’t only Environmentally racist; he’s environmentally stupid. Pence doesn’t believe in climate change made obvious by Trump and him pulling out of the Paris Agreement. But he’s also said enough to show his own views. He claims climate change is “a paramount issue for the left,” but climate change doesn’t care about your political stance. Climate change is everyone’s issue and one of the most pressing.
Why should we let this man take office when he’s so obviously against the values that a majority of Americans say that they hold? Why should we vote out someone horrible and then let the horrible person’s best friend stay and continue his work? We are not just fighting this one man, we are fighting a system that allowed this man to exist and be “the Leader of the Free World?” Our problem goes much deeper. If Pence takes office, we need to protest that too. Protest Trump until he leaves, then protest Pence, and don’t stop until you have a leader that values the rights of Americans and represents you. The system does not control us, we control the system, and we can and should change this system if it is a faulty one.