It is often the role of the vice president to serve as a lightning rod, taking the heat off their president in turbulent times. The memo may not have gotten to President Trump that these are turbulent times, but Mike Pence stepped up and put a name to the evil that marched its way – and worse – through the land of Thomas Jefferson.
The VEEP made his comments to NBC News while traveling in Colombia, saying, “We will not tolerate hatred and violence of groups like white supremacists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis. These extremist fringe groups have no place in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”
NBC’s reporter (the incredibly annoying Peter Alexander) then pressed Pence to clarify Trump’s statement from Saturday that “many sides” contribute to today’s hostile, sometimes violent, political atmosphere. Pence was swift to respond:
“As you look throughout the course of recent years, we’ve seen protests turn violent,” Pence said. “We’ve seen fringe groups use peaceful protest environment to bring violence, in some cases against police officers to tragic results.”
And he’s right. This does not excuse his boss from failing to name outright the evil on display in Charlottesville, but it is important to note that the Peter Alexanders of the world regularly turn a blind eye to the violence perpetrated by the left. Even in Charlottesville, where many of the torch-bearing white supremacists were assaulted, resulting in a handful of arrests.
There has been much speculation of late about Mike Pence’s plans for 2020, some even suggesting he’s running a “shadow” presidential campaign. While he’s denied this, his willingness to name the problem is in stark contrast to the president’s rather vague condemnation of the violence. There’s no question that Pence will run for president one day, and his statement about Charlottesville makes him look presidential.
President Trump would do well to follow the example set by his vice president and NAME THE DAMN NAME.