Who would you prefer to be president? Mike Pence or Kamala Harris?
The question is not irrelevant.
President Trump’s current experience with COVID-19, and former Vice President Biden’s increasingly obvious slide from his former glory, as well as the fact that either Trump or Biden will become the oldest president ever to begin a term, brings home that a Pence or Harris presidency is more than just a remote possibility. The recent vice presidential debate presented voters a stark choice, both in terms of substance and style.
The style part of the equation was apparent to anyone who watched the debate, although any mention of it as it relates to Harris opens one up to predictable accusations of “sexism.” I’m not sure why that is since President Trump’s style has been the subject of a nauseatingly exhaustive level of criticism since the Earth began to cool, but since we’re not allowed to speak about the style of a woman, I’ll limit my comments to the style of Vice President Pence, which couldn’t be any more different than that of the president he works for.
Calm. Cool. Thoughtful. Polite. Squarely in command of the facts. For those who have trouble with the President’s “shoot from the hip” approach to just about everything, I would think you would find Pence’s approach a refreshing change.
On substance, the difference between Harris and Pence couldn’t be more stark. Pence is conservative. Harris is equally liberal. From the economy to health care, gun control to abortion, the Supreme Court to foreign affairs, the two vice presidential candidates are polar opposites.
If elections are about giving the people a choice, Americans certainly have two very different philosophies of government from which to choose. The difference is Pence embraces his philosophy while Harris is doing everything she can to run from hers. Regardless of where one might fall on the political spectrum, I would think if honesty and candor is something a voter finds important, Harris' obfuscation of her record and true political leanings would give reason for pause.
If she is a proud liberal, why doesn’t she simply acknowledge that fact? I don’t think there can be much of argument that her reasons are a function of political expediency. The Biden campaign has almost certainly concluded that Harris' liberal record, on the whole, is detrimental to Biden’s prospects for being elected, so the more they can downplay Harris' liberal bonafides, the better.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should expect the unexpected. For that reason, it’s important voters consider what a Pence or Harris presidency would look like.
The type of country each would create would have little in common with one another. One candidate would look to the government as the solution to everything. The other, generally, would see government as the problem. That’s a difference voters need to think about when they “pull the lever” on Nov. 3, or mail in their ballots in the weeks prior.
Will either ever actually become the president? We’d be fools to think that could never happen. In fact, it’s quite likely.
Chris Roemer writes from Finksburg. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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