Mike Pence thinks the Republican party and the nation as a whole are at a crossroads. He says his former boss is a pied piper who will lead his followers to ruin. Here is what Pence had to say about the divide on the campaign trail.
Pence Sees Doom Ahead
Speaking in New Hampshire in early September, former vice president Mike Pence told a story of mayhem about to unfold.
Republicans Are Lost
Specifically, Pence said that Republicans have lost their way and abandoned their conservative roots. But he says it’s not all their fault because they’ve been sold a bill of goods.
He Knows Who to Blame
And just who does Pence blame for the deterioration of the Republican party and the conservative movement in general?
Trump Under the Bus
Why, none other than his former boss, ousted president Donald Trump.
As Pence sees it, Trump ran on a platform in 2016 that pandered strongly to far-right groups. Key to Trump’s appeal was his focus on cutting taxes and protecting American jobs.
Pence Got Sucked In
It was all enough to lure Pence to the ticket as Trump’s vice presidential running mate. And, of course, it was also enough to get Trump elected, too.
Bad Moon on the Rise
But even back in those exciting days of change for Republicans, Pence says there were warning signs of what was to come.
The Forgotten Man
Part of the fascination many Republicans have for Trump started with his promise to look out for “the forgotten man.” It’s a populist notion that can endear a candidate to voters but also comes with plenty of danger, Pence said.
Both Sides Sucked In
For one thing, the former VP said, the anti-establishment appeal of populism draws people from both sides of the political aisle.
Playing in the Middle
That tends to give populist candidates more leeway to play in the middle ground instead of staying true to the core principles of either the left or the right.
Shifting Trade Winds
Pence points to Trump’s shifting foreign trade policy as evidence of this.
Trump’s Favorite Weapon
Conservatives typically want free and open trade, even with foreign countries. But one of Trump’s favorite tools in dealing with other nations was to slap tariffs on them in order to get what he wanted in other areas.
Off the Rails
And, of course, the growth of anti-establishment views among the population can lead to unrest and upheaval.
Proud Boys Were Proof
Exhibit A in that regard, of course, was the wild and outrageous siege of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Reclaim the Party
Pence says that Republicans have a chance to not only reclaim their party in the 2024 election but to start moving America back in the direction it needs to go.
No Time to Waste
But the time to choose which path to follow is right now, according to Pence.
Ideals at Stake
Continue down the populist road with Donald Trump, and there may be no turning back. Conservative ideals may be washed away forever.
Pence Knows Just the Man
On the other hand, if Republicans grab onto their traditional roots, they can start to turn things around. And, of course, Pence says he’s just the man to do it.
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