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Trump vs. Pence: What Liberals Should Consider

Trump Pence Caricature
Trump vs. Pence: What Liberals Should Consider

The investigations around Trump may eventually result in his removal from office, but liberals should consider what a pence presidency could mean.

President Donald Trump has already shared that being president is more complicated than he thought it would be — a fact that Trump’s opponents might say is evident in his unorthodox political tactics. While the office holds a four-year term, the multitude of charges swirling at Trump’s feet make it feasible to think that we might, in fact, see a new face in the oval office before that time has passed.

Barring an improbable scenario in which neither Trump nor Pence could serve, that would mean vice-president Mike Pence would inherit the position. While the thought of removing Trump is enough to excite some liberals, it’s important to consider the realities of a Pence presidency before writing off Trump’s dismissal as a political win.

Trump: Conservative or Moderate?

If you only began paying attention to Donald Trump’s political career at the beginning of his presidential bid, you might think him to be a staunch conservative. While Trump has placed himself squarely in the conservative camp following a campaign that relied on the far right to succeed, he has expressed far more moderate views in the past.

Trump’s favorite political issues, healthcare and immigration policy, paint him as a hardliner conservative. However, the real-estate mogul has made it clear that he does not intend to revisit big-ticket issues for conservatives like gay marriage, where the Obama administration made considerable strides during its eight-year run.

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Today’s Republican Party follows the party line religiously, but Trump’s policy has been openly questioned by such conservative leaders as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

Pence Brings Traditionalism and Tact

Critics of Trump’s administration have suggested that Mike Pence was brought on to make the real decisions while The Donald engages in puffery. Pence certainly has the credentials, having held a high-ranking government position since 2001. Unlike Trump, he is also considered by most to be less offensive and more tactful in most political dealings.

But while Pence might ruffle fewer feathers with his public speaking skills, his loyalties lie with the old school of hardline conservativism. The openly devout Christian has campaigned for extremely aggressive anti-abortion laws that Trump doesn’t seem to share a taste for.

The Nuclear Question

Making policy is a huge part of being president, and the reality of a Pence presidency could be worse for some of us than a Trump presidency. On the topic of military leadership, however, Pence might offer the cooler head.

Trump’s extroverted exploits on Twitter paint the man as extremely impulsive — so much so that Barrack Obama even went as far as to critique Trump as incapable of handling the nation’s nuclear arsenal during campaign debates. Trump also revealed a distinct lack of knowledge about the country’s military abilities during the campaign, though he would not have had nearly the access to military resources at that time that he does now. For instance, Trump has surrounded himself with many decorated and knowledgeable generals in advisory roles.

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Pence’s years of service in the military and government give him a better fundamental knowledge of the U.S. military arsenal. His calmer demeanor leads some to believe that he might exhibit more restraint in a military standoff, but it’s something that can’t be known unless such a situation arises.

Smart Enough to Run for President

It has often been said that those wise enough to make an effective president are wise enough not to run. 2016’s election season might be the perfect example of this, forcing American voters to decide between two obviously flawed candidates.

Neither Donald Trump nor Mike Pence appears poised to go down in history as the great leaders the nation had hoped for, but in the plausible scenario that Pence inherits power, it is likely that Trump critics could find themselves saddled with a commander-and-chief even less sympathetic to their cause than Trump.

So you’ve got to ask yourself, should liberals be in a hurry to impeach the current president?

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Kate Harveston
About Kate Harveston 3 Articles
Kate Harveston is the owner of Only Slightly Biased, a political commentary blog that she updates weekly. Her work has also been featured on such sites as Nation of Change and International Policy Digest. She is originally from Williamsport, PA and holds a Bachelors in English, with a concentration in Professional Writing. Her writing tends to cover social justice issues, but she has also written on such topics as mental health, sports, and technology.

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