New vice president elect stirs up controversey

Linsey Sparks, Staff Writer

On Nov. 8, our country elected a new president. Donald Trump has benefitted from serious time in the spotlight, but we really do not know much about his running mate, Michael Richard Pence. He successfully ran for Congress in 2000, was elected governor of Indiana in 2012 and now holds the position of Vice President elect of the United States, the second in line to the presidency.

Pence’s stance on a multitude of current issues are highly controversial. He has created so many laws and has so many beliefs that are just wrong. As second in command, we need and deserve to be informed about his stances and policies that could come into play for the country at any minute.

According to the Huffington Post, “Pence signed the most abortion-restrictive regulations in the nation, banning abortion even in cases where the fetus has a ‘genetic abnormality’ such as Down’s syndrome and holding doctors legally liable if they had knowingly performed such procedures. The law also required that aborted fetal tissue be buried or cremated.” This law never ended up going into effect because the Supreme Court decided against it. The passing of this law would create struggles for women, least of all carrying a baby that they do not want. Imagine being a woman who was raped and then became pregnant, stuck with a baby who serves as a reminder, everyday for nine months at least, of that horrible day when they were raped. Pence knows nothing about being pregnant or being reminded of it every day. He is not a woman, he should not be making decisions about what we should or shouldn’t do to our bodies.

Pence, although he believes that all children should be born, does not want any LGBTQ+ people in our country. He has taken money from HIV/AIDS research and put it into funding conversion therapy. Only privileged and homophobic people would vote a man like that into power. The practice itself is life threatening because of shock treatment and other dangerous practices. Conversion therapy not only damages the person physically, but emotionally as well.  For example, on Dec. 28, 2014, a transgender 17-year old named Leelah Alcorn took her own life, according to Time magazine. She is just one of many teens who have committed suicide because of the “treatment.” This is not okay. These teens have just started accepting themselves for who they truly are and have finally decided to let other people know who they are. Not only is this a danger to their lives, but it has a huge impact on their self-esteem and how they look at themselves. Just imagine being a member of the LGBTQ+ community for a second (if you aren’t already). Picture you finally telling your family your biggest and best kept secret and them hating you for it. Imagine being disowned, or worse, being sent to a form of therapy where they think they can change who you are. It’s devastating.

These are just two of Pence’s troubling policies. As you can tell, when he says “Make America Great Again,” he means “Make America White, Christian, and Straight Again.” One of the beautiful things about our country is our diversity. People from all over the world want to live here. We are the melting pot. According to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, our population was 63.7% white, 12.2% black, 0.7% native American or native Alaskan, 4.7% Asian, 0.15% native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, 1.9% mixed, 0.2% other and 16.3% Hispanic or Latino. In addition, according to, immigrants made up 13.3% of our population in 2014.  Only xenophobic and racist people would want to change that.

Donald Trump (the president-elect) has no prior political background. He knows nothing about politics. And that’s where Pence comes in. Trump will more than likely be relying on Pence for most decisions. One of the only real jobs the vice-president has is to become president if the the president dies. But, a little bit of the weight has been lifted off of our shoulders because Pence has very little, if any, power over the presidential budget. That really just means that, Pence cannot do to the entire country, what he did to Indiana, unless he has to become president for some reason.

I propose that we, the citizens of the United States, work together and come up with a way for the election to be decided by the popular vote instead of the electoral college. If this were to happen, not only would Pence be out of office, but we would get rid of Trump as well. Clinton and Kaine are the better choice for the job. This election needs to be reversed.