By Peter Fenn | Contributor USNews & World Report
July 15, 2016, at 12:15 p.m.
OK, I am an old white guy, I admit. But I am increasingly in the minority in America. Women are the majority of voters in this country, as we know. Younger voters are taking over. Hispanics are growing in key states. African-Americans and Asians are voting in greater numbers. The country is changing and the wonderful Broadway play “Hamilton” is a symbol of the new America. All the white guys of the revolution, the founding fathers, are portrayed by such a vibrant, multi-racial cast.
So why did Donald Trump pick 57-year old Mike Pence for vice president?
He appeals to his base of older white men with silver hair. Hard-core conservatives. Religious, anti-abortion activists. Rural, especially mid-western, voters. And the new establishment Washington insiders – extremely conservative members of the Freedom Caucus and the Republican Study Committee, that he chaired.
There is an advantage, I suppose, of going to the more conservative tea party Republican base, but there are two very distinct disadvantages.
The first, of course, is that his policies and his positions alienate women, Hispanics, African-Americans, young people and the LGBT community. He is one of the most anti-choice people Trump could pick, leading the fight against Planned Parenthood and supporting the most restrictive measures on abortion. He supported and signed the restrictive “religious freedom” law in Indiana and had to backtrack after the business and civil rights communities raised an uproar. He is a staunch opponent of same-sex marriage.
In short, Pence offers nothing to mainstream Republicans, urban and suburban voters, people who are looking for some sign that the Trump party will include them.
When it comes to trade, Pence is a solid and uncompromising “free-trader.” He supports Fast Track to give the president authority to negotiate agreements, he voted for every free trade agreement while in Congress, he supported CAFTA and supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump condemns in the strongest possible terms.
Trump and Pence are polar opposites on trade. Pence will have a lot of explaining to do!
Hardly a match made in heaven on a lot of fronts.
So, another white guy – but then I guess you could argue that it is better than a ticket with Newt Gingrich, otherwise known as the six-wives, old-white-guy ticket.