Medical Tuesday Blog

What motivated Mike Pence to run with Donald Trump?

Aug 7

Written by: Del Meyer
08/07/2018 8:23 AM 

A conservative’s view: What motivated Mike Pence to run with Donald Trump?

Gary Varvel, gary.varvel@indystar.com

My friend has questions for Vice President Mike Pence. They’re questions like, “What were you thinking?” And, “Why would a Christian agree to be Donald Trump’s running mate?”

They’re both good questions. And my friend and I both know Mike Pence. Mike Pence is a friend of ours. We agree that Donald Trump is no Mike Pence.

Pence often says, “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.” So why would he partner with a man who many believe is none of these?

As a Christian, conservative and a cartoonist, in that order, I think I know. 

First, let me address and then dismiss a few of the common reasons that political analysts throw out there about Pence’s motivation.

In 2016, Pence’s re-election for governor was in trouble because of the political fallout over religious freedom legislation. Some think that Pence saw Trump as a political life-preserver. That’s possible, but I think there is another reason.

Many political observers think Pence has presidential ambitions. Because of that, some think he sold his soul and compromised his principles to be Trump’s right hand man. After all, vice president of the United States certainly looks good on your resume. Again, that might be a possible reason, but I think there is another reason that better explains why Pence chose to run with Trump. I’ll get to it in a moment.

Recently, Pence founded a Political Action Committee and many speculated that it was a “shadow campaign” to challenge his boss for the presidency in 2020. See…presidential ambition, right? Pence called the rumors ‘laughable, absurd, offensive and fake news.’  I drew a cartoon about it, showing Pence as Robin to President Trump’s Batman. The caption read: “Holy shadow campaign, Trumpman. That’s fake news. Honest!”

In reality, Pence has shown no signs of turning on the president. It has been a tumultuous seven months in office, and people are asking how Pence can, in good conscience, continue to defend the president.

In a recent interview on the Today Show, Matt Lauer asked the vice president, “Are you putting your loyalty (to Trump) above your heart and gut?” Of course, Lauer’s question inspired trolls on Twitter to question if the vice president even has a heart.

Which leads me back to the question, “Mike, what were you thinking?”

I think there’s a biblical explanation for why Pence agreed to become Trump’s number two.

Now, I realize in a world that is reluctant to acknowledge the existence of God, anything biblical will be dismissed out of hand. Men of faith are often misunderstood and mocked for their beliefs and actions. Just look at what the trolls say on Twitter.

And not all Christians will agree with me that Pence did the right thing in running with Trump. They would ask, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” That is a quote from the Old Testament book of Amos.

It’s a good question, but I can think of a better one. In the 1990s, when Pence was a radio talk show host, we would occasionally have lunch and sometimes we talked about the Bible. Based on his knowledge of the BibIe, I think Pence remembered another question in the Old Testament, “…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:14

The book of Esther tells the story of an orphaned girl raised by her older cousin Mordecai. Through a series of events, she becomes the Queen of Persia. She heeds Mordecai’s words and uses her position to intercede with the king to save the Jewish people from annihilation.

Even though Trump was not expected to win the presidency, I think Pence wondered if he was being given this position “for such a time as this.” There are biblical examples of such a thing happening.

Joseph and Daniel rose to the number two positions to ungodly kings in their day. God used both of them to become his spokesmen in the king’s court. Joseph served Pharaoh in Egypt, and centuries later Daniel served Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar as well as  a few Persian kings.

Now I’m not saying that Pence has the ability to interpret dreams as Joseph and Daniel did, but the Bible says, “These things happened to them as examples for us.” -1 Corinthians 10:11

I think Pence recognized Trump’s job offer as an opportunity to be like Joseph or Daniel and to be a godly influence to the future president.

Ralph Drollinger, a former NBA player turned preacher, said in a Christian Broadcasting Network interview that in Pence, he sees many similarities to biblical figures like Joseph, Mordecai and Daniel. Drollinger leads weekly Bible studies that includes Trump administration officials.

Which brings me to a final thought. Remember when the polls turned out to be wrong and Trump won? Exit polls showed that white evangelicals voted for Trump 80-16 percent. That’s more than the evangelical vote for George W. Bush in 2004. Why?

White evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, exit polls show

Before the election, a professor at a Christian college asked me about Mike Pence. After I told him about my friendship with him and Pence’s knowledge of the Bible, he said, “Knowing more about Pence gives me greater peace of mind about Trump.”

Why did evangelicals vote for Trump in 2016. My answer: Mike Pence.

One day, when Pence is out of office, I hope to have lunch with him again, and I’ll ask, “Mike, what were you thinking?” Till then, my guess is as good as anyone’s.

Recently, Pence founded a Political Action Committee and many speculated that it was a “shadow campaign” to challenge his boss for the presidency in 2020. See…presidential ambition, right? Pence called the rumors ‘laughable, absurd, offensive and fake news.’  I drew a cartoon about it, showing Pence as Robin to President Trump’s Batman. The caption read: “Holy shadow campaign, Trumpman. That’s fake news. Honest!”

In reality, Pence has shown no signs of turning on the president. It has been a tumultuous seven months in office, and people are asking how Pence can, in good conscience, continue to defend the president.

In a recent interview on the Today Show, Matt Lauer asked the vice president, “Are you putting your loyalty (to Trump) above your heart and gut?” Of course, Lauer’s question inspired trolls on Twitter to question if the vice president even has a heart.

Pence warns Pakistan: “We’re putting them on notice”

Which leads me back to the question, “Mike, what were you thinking?”

I think there’s a biblical explanation for why Pence agreed to become Trump’s number two.

Now, I realize in a world that is reluctant to acknowledge the existence of God, anything biblical will be dismissed out of hand. Men of faith are often misunderstood and mocked for their beliefs and actions. Just look at what the trolls say on Twitter.

And not all Christians will agree with me that Pence did the right thing in running with Trump. They would ask, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” That is a quote from the Old Testament book of Amos.

It’s a good question, but I can think of a better one. In the 1990s, when Pence was a radio talk show host, we would occasionally have lunch and sometimes we talked about the Bible. Based on his knowledge of the BibIe, I think Pence remembered another question in the Old Testament, “…And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:14

The book of Esther tells the story of an orphaned girl raised by her older cousin Mordecai. Through a series of events, she becomes the Queen of Persia. She heeds Mordecai’s words and uses her position to intercede with the king to save the Jewish people from annihilation.

Even though Trump was not expected to win the presidency, I think Pence wondered if he was being given this position “for such a time as this.” There are biblical examples of such a thing happening.

Joseph and Daniel rose to the number two positions to ungodly kings in their day. God used both of them to become his spokesmen in the king’s court. Joseph served Pharaoh in Egypt, and centuries later Daniel served Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar as well as a few Persian kings.

Now I’m not saying that Pence has the ability to interpret dreams as Joseph and Daniel did, but the Bible says, “These things happened to them as examples for us.” -1 Corinthians 10:11

I think Pence recognized Trump’s job offer as an opportunity to be like Joseph or Daniel and to be a godly influence to the future president.

Ralph Drollinger, a former NBA player turned preacher, said in a Christian Broadcasting Network interview that in Pence, he sees many similarities to biblical figures like Joseph, Mordecai and Daniel. Drollinger leads weekly Bible studies that includes Trump administration officials.

Which brings me to a final thought. Remember when the polls turned out to be wrong and Trump won? Exit polls showed that white evangelicals voted for Trump 80-16 percent. That’s more than the evangelical vote for George W. Bush in 2004. Why?

White evangelicals voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, exit polls show

Before the election, a professor at a Christian college asked me about Mike Pence. After I told him about my friendship with him and Pence’s knowledge of the Bible, he said, “Knowing more about Pence gives me greater peace of mind about Trump.”

Why did evangelicals vote for Trump in 2016? My answer: Mike Pence.

One day, when Pence is out of office, I hope to have lunch with him again, and I’ll ask, “Mike, what were you thinking?” Till then, my guess is as good as anyone’s.

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