Last night on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained to viewers everything that those of us who live in Indiana already knew about the current vice president – Indiana’s former governor, Mike Pence. Mike Pence is an anti-LGBTQ misogynist bigot who would very likely be much, much worse for the country if Pence were to assume the office of president. While Donald Trump is also an anti-LGBTQ misogynist racist bigot as well, Pence is actually capable of accomplishing what he wants to achieve.
If you haven’t been watching John Oliver’s show, you really should. They post segments of the show on YouTube for free. And since leaving The Daily Show, John Oliver has been nothing short of fantastic. From his breakdown of anti-vaxxers, to his rant on net neutrality, or his criticism of abstinence-only sex education, he’s been equal parts entertaining and informative.
But, back to Pence.
My personal experience with Pence is rather brief. Until last December, I worked for the Department of Child Services in Indiana for over half a decade. When Pence was our governor, we periodically received emails from him. Each time, we could rest assured there would be at least one reference to his god in it.
Here’s the end of an email that all state of Indiana employees received from Mike Pence just before Thanksgiving in 2016.
And because of the combination of who I am as a person, and not particularly caring if I upset someone after being preached to at work by my boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss’s boss, I sent this reply to our HR department (the same email address that always sent out emails like this):
Much to my disappointment, I did not receive a response from HR. I did, however, get a talkin’ to about a mass email I sent about the legitimacy of pancakes as a breakfast food, though.
I’m really a fun coworker to have, I promise.
But this is just one example of the religiosity of Mike Pence. He consistently used his extremist religious beliefs to disparage his constituents in Indiana. His religious stance towards Planned Parenthood essentially caused an HIV outbreak in Indiana. He passed RFRA, which literally legalized discrimination against the LGBTQ community. And as a testament to his bold “I don’t give a single shit about what my constituents think” policy, he undermined and stripped away power from the democratically elected Superintendent of Education for the state, Glenda Ritz, whose election victory was a direct rejection of the then-incumbent Tony Bennett (who pushed for privatization of public schools, much like Betsy DeVos now).
But it’s fine. Everything is fine now. We have Eric Holcomb who, besides forcing all state offices to have a picture of him and Suzanne Crouch (Lieutenant Governor of Indiana) clearly visible, is decidedly *not* Mike Pence. So that’s an improvement I guess.
If it weren’t for Donald Trump, the entire nation would likely be well aware of the things Mike Pence has said and done while he was governor here. And with the ever-increasing likelihood of Trump leaving office without his consent, it’s necessary for people to brace themselves for what might very well be in store. In the video below, John Oliver does a fantastic job of delivering the news that many outside of Indiana may not have been aware of.
And – don’t forget to buy the book he mentions. 100% of Last Week Tonight‘s proceeds will be donated to The Trevor Project and AIDS United, which will not only help fantastic causes, but also piss off Mike Pence.