Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence maintained a blog on a host of different websites in the 1990s when he was hosting a conservative talk radio show in Indiana.
Through a review of the Internet archive, BuzzFeed News has uncovered some of those blog posts, which provide insight into Pence's career before public service as a host of The Mike Pence Show. Archived websites from the 1990s are sporadic, and those found only represent a tiny fraction of the posts Pence did.
Many of the op-eds were also featured on Pence's congressional campaign website, which BuzzFeed News first reported on in 2015.
In one op-ed, posted by BuzzFeed News on Sunday, Pence said the 1998 Disney classic Mulan was liberal propaganda meant to influence the debate over women serving in the military.www
"Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military," Pence wrote.
In another, Pence argued that Paula Jones' civil sexual harassment suit against Bill Clinton should have been delayed until after he left the presidency to save America "from the obscene, anti-marriage media circus which this case will unleash on America."
"Preserving some modicum of respect for the presidency and for the institution of marriage is of greater consequence than Paula Jones need for immediate redress, no pun intended," Pence wrote.
Other editorials showed his talk radio bonafides. He wrote Bill Clinton should resign or be impeached. He railed against cigarette taxes, arguing in an extended op-ed the numbers of people who die from smoking are greatly exaggerated. He declared global warming a "myth" in another post.
Pence made the case for the traditional family, arguing against daycare and the scourge of adultery. In one, he calls for a flat tax. In another, he blasts the penalty for killing otters.
Taken together, the small group of scattered opinions reveal Pence in the '90s was much more in line with the party's base and talk radio than the establishment forces in Washington.
A summary of the op-eds and links to them on the Web Archive are below. The columns are run as written (including typos).
Pence blogged otters should not have been re-introduced into Indiana because it empowered big government.
In January the Department of Natural Resources announced a program to reintroduce otters back into Indiana’s wildlife population. It seems that the environmental engineers at DNR concluded that the otters were run out of Indiana before 1942 by pollution and hunters. O.K. So a hunter in Noble County kills one and gets a suspended sentence, 30 days house arrest, $1500 fine etc... basically had the book thrown at him.
Question: If the State had not brought the otters back would there have been a crime?
Question: If the State had not brought the otter back, would the hunter have been in such big trouble?
Answer: No on both counts.
The truth is that while it is always nice to have a few more cuddly critters in our streams, it is not worth empowering the state to further erode the private property rights of Hoosiers.
State sanctioned, sanitized otters today... buffaloes tomorrow?
Pence wrote Paula Jones' lawsuit against Bill Clinton should be delayed until after the election to save America from "anti-marriage media circus."
JONES vs. CLINTON
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that Paula Corbin Jones could go ahead with her sexual harassment lawsuit against William Jefferson Clinton, the President of the United States. When one weighs the slight inconvenience which a two year delay would have imposed on Ms. Jones to the obscene, anti-marriage media circus which this case will unleash on America, it is clear the Supreme Court made the wrong decision.
In case you have missed the sordid details of this affair, Ms. Jones alleges that in 1991, then Governor Bill Clinton invited her up to a hotel room in Little Rock, Arkansas, requested that she perform certain sex acts and exposed himself.
There, I said it. If you find that rendition of facts disgusting, brace yourself. Thanks to the wisdom of all nine members of the Supreme Court, America is about to undergo an experience in mega-publicity the likes of which we have never seen.
"Jones vs. Clinton" will make the O.J. Simpson trial look like traffic court. Major networks and news channels will dedicate hours, days, weeks to exhaustive coverage of one man's marital infidelity. And it won't just be limited to Paula Jones.
Attorneys for the aggrieved party promise a virtual parade of the President's old girlfriends. Even the infamous Gennifer Flowers will get another fifteen minutes of fame as she rocks the world with the lurid details of her affair with a married man. The whole mess will be a mockery of news laced with sanctimonious explanations of why Americans need to know every obscene detail of the President's love life.
And to what end?
Apart from the fact that the defendant in this civil suit is the leader of the free world, why is this news? The man in question admitted on national television in 1992 that he had been unfaithful to his wife and was rewarded with election and reelection to the highest office in the land. What possible difference will the facts of this case make other than to:
(a) increase ratings for every tabloid-like news department in America and
(b) distract attention away from the scandals in this Administration which have genuine national security ramifications (e.g. India-Gate, China-gate).
I suspect that "Jones vs. Clinton" will be a perfect vehicle for those in the mainstream liberal press to deal a final blow to old fashioned morality in America. The "Age of Aquarius" generation now running most of the major news departments in the country have been pining for the opportunity to denigrate what remains of our old allegiance to marital fidelity. On the talk shows, Clinton's defenders will attack the "moral hang-ups" of those who see the issue as not one of sexual harassment but one of adultery plain and simple. In the end, we will be told that, where consenting adults are involved, all vows are off and only the politically correct sexual harassment issue is worthy of our concern.
When the Supreme Court ruled that Paula Jones was entitled to "an orderly disposition of her claims" they proved, once again, that they are hopelessly out of touch with contemporary American society. Preserving some modicum of respect for the presidency and for the institution of marriage is of greater consequence than Paula Jones need for immediate redress, no pun intended.
In another blog post, Pence called for tougher sentencing laws, changing the appeals process, and putting more violent criminals in prison.
Like so many other parents in Central Indiana, my wife and I were holding our breaths during the four days that Franklin College student Kelly Eckart was missing. It is a parent’s worst nightmare; to have a child in trouble and out of reach. When the news that her body had been discovered alongside a gravel road in rural Brown County, we grieved along with the rest of the families of the area. Beyond the tragedy itself is the unsettling reality that crime is everywhere.
Kelly Eckart was never a candidate for becoming a victim of violent crime. She grew up in rural Shelby County in a little town called Boggstown. She decided to attend college in another small town, Franklin, Indiana and probably never thought twice about talking to strangers on the street or outside the Walmart where she worked.
Though we don’t know the circumstances of her death, all of the evidence points to Kelly’s last act as having been a charitable one. Her car was stopped on a street in Franklin, presumably to render assistance to some troubled motorist. The rest of the story we may never (mercifully) know.
Beyond the outrage and sheer anger toward the perpetrator of this crime, there comes an abiding sense that something has gone very badly wrong with our system of criminal justice in this country. There was a reason that violent crime was scarce in small towns for decades... it was not tolerated. Neighbor looked after neighbor and justice was often as swift as it was certain.
Now the wheels of justice grind with all the rapidity of an old sorghum mill. The average time between a crime of murder and the imposition of capital punishment is between 15 and 17 years. While it takes a generation of time to execute a convicted murderer, most murderers never even face that penalty. The average amount of time served behind bars for the crime of murder is seven years.
So what can be done now to change the fate of Kelly Eckart? Short answer: nothing. We can only pray that God have mercy on her soul and that he have no mercy on person who committed this crime.
What we can do is make Indiana a less hospitable place for purveyors of this kind of evil. By reforming our appeals process, making justice more swift and certain, filling our prisons only with violent criminals and by passing truth in sentencing laws that give judges more authority to impose lengthy prison terms we could begin the process of making the tragedy we all experienced in September much less frequent.
Pence argued the media was too blasé about a female Air Force pilot's adultery that led to her resignation.
Last week the Air Force permitted 1st Lt. Kelly Flynn, the first female B52 pilot, to resigned under a general discharge. Flynn was accused of an adulterous affair with not one, but two, married men connected with her base. While many Americans held the view that she deserved much worse, I was pleased to see the matter closed and consider compassion to be the order of the day when young people make bone-headed decisions in their personal lives.
The real issue here is the dishonorable discharge which the issue of adultery received from the national media and some political leaders. Did anyone else notice the incredulous looks on the faces of Lt. Flynn's most ardent defenders anytime the term "adultery" was mentioned? Many of her defenders were less concerned, it seemed, about the facts of the case than about the fact that somewhere in this society adultery is still a crime.
The New York Times characterized her actions as "violations of the heart" and urged that she be reassigned. Most of the national media passed off her adulterous behavior as simply private matters which were of no real consequence to the case. Even Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told the media that the Air Force should "get real" and accused the Pentagon of being out of touch with reality.
Well, I think it is time to get real. I think it's time for the media and our leaders to get real and start telling the truth about the impact of adultery on our national life.
What is real is that adultery destroys tens of thousands of families of every year across America. What is real is that adultery scars tens of thousands of children emotionally and psychologically every year. What is real is that adultery is an open wound in a relationship which more often than not overflows into domestic violence or worse.
It is time to 'get real' and put to the lie the popular culture's no-cost approach to extramarital sex. What makes for titillating television and movies is destroying families across the land. Now that I think about it, maybe Trent Lott was right.
In one blog post, Pence said a daycare study showed the importance of one parent staying home with their children.
Last week (4/97) researchers for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development announced the results of a three year study of over 1300 day-care kids. While The Indianapolis Star chose to headline the story with "No cognitive disadvantage for day-care kids, study shows", the real news was in the area of emotional development.
Researchers found that while day-care kids suffer no disadvantage in cognitive or linguistic development, their emotional development was stunted. Specifically, researchers found that a child cared for by others was less affectionate toward it’s mother. This was described as "statistically significant", which means that the numbers make it as obvious as the nose on your face.
No doubt many will recite the mantra of the 90’s in response...namely, "so what?". Well, the "what" is that this evidence suggests, for the first time, that day-care does not equal at-home-care.
For years we have gotten the message from the mouthpieces of the popular culture that "you can have it all... career, kids and a two car garage." The numbers in this federally funded study argue that the converse is true.
Sure, you can have it all, but your day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick.
So am I condemning anyone who has chosen the day-care route?
Absolutely not. I am criticizing a culture that has sold the big lie that "mom doesn’t matter". These statistics should ignite a national debate about the family and precisely who should be raising the next generation of Americans. We should seriously rethink a tax code that makes it less and less possible for one parent to stay home with the kids and replace it with a family friendly system of tax collection.
Or we could just settle for another generation of adults with good "language and congnitive skills" but stunted emotional growth. Let’s take these findings and put families first again.
Pence posted a longer (by 600 words) version of his "Smoking doesn't kill" op-ed first reported on by BuzzFeed News in January 2015.
The Great American Smoke Out
In the coming weeks, Americans are going to be treated with the worst kind of Washington-speak regarding the tobacco legislation currently being considered by the Congress and Attorney Generals from forty different states. We will hear about the scourge of tobacco and the resultant pre-mature deaths. We will hear about how this phalanx of government elites has suddenly grown a conscience after decades of subsidizing the product which, we are now told, "kills millions of Americans each year".
Time for a quick reality check. Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill. In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer. This is not to say that smoking is good for you.... news flash: smoking is not good for you. If you are reading this article through the blue haze of cigarette smoke you should quit. The relavant question is, what is more harmful to the nation, second hand smoke or back handed big government disguised in do-gooder healthcare rhetoric.
The tobacco settlement is about big money and big government. The big money part is obvious, under the current proposal, smokers would (pardon the pun) cough up an extra $1.10 per pack in cigarette taxes resulting in a windfall to the federal government of nearly $25,000,000,000 (that's twenty-five billion with a "B" as in Bill Gates) each year. We are told that this huge tax increase is intended to discourage underage smoking. Okay, let's do the math.
The average teen smoker inhales about one pack of cigarettes every two days. In an average week, this teenager would have to come up with an extra $3.85 per week to remain terminally cool. Let me think about this. Would the average James Dean wannabee foregoe his "bad as I wanna be" habit for the cost of Big Mac each week. Me thinks not.
Put in it's proper context, the tobacco legislation is seen as a huge tax increase on smoking Americans who, in most cases, fall in the category of those least able to afford the cost. In broad terms, the average adult smoker would have to come up with an extra $1,200 per year to continue a two pack a day habit which, last time I checked, is pretty serious money for your average smoking working stiff.
The tobacco settlement is not only about big taxes it's about big government. Under the current Senate version, the deal would require the creation of 17 new government bureaucracies to manage the tax windfall described above. But it is also about big government on a much more profound scale, namely, government big enough to protect us from ourselves.
Even a conservative like me would support government big enough to protect us from foreign threats and threats to our domestic tranquility but the tobacco deal goes to the next level. Government big enough to protect us from our own stubborn wills. And a government of such plenary power, once conceived will hardly stop at tobacco. Surely the scourge of fatty foods and their attendent cost to the health care economy bears some consideration. How about the role of caffeine in fomenting greater stress in the lives of working Americans? Don't get me started about the dangers of sports utility vehicles!
Those of you who find the tobacco deal acceptable should be warned as you sit, reading this magazine, sipping a cup of hot coffee with a hamburger on your mind for lunch. A government big enough to go after smokers is big enough to go after you.
Pence wrote an op-ed explaining why Bill Clinton needed to resign or be removed from office. He wrote entirely different column arguing the same thing in 2000.
The Two Schools of Thought on Clinton
With the news on August 17th that the President of the United States lied to the American people (and very likely under oath) about an illicit relationship with a college student, readers are no doubt wondering "where to from here?" The two schools of thought can be summed up in the choices presented through various and diverse sources, namely, move on or move out.
The "move on" crowd's argument goes something like this; 'the President admitted he made a mistake, you have your pound of flesh, now let's move on with the serious issues facing the country'. While this approach is appealing even to some of us who have little regard for the policies of this Administration, it's just not as simple as all that. The 'Move On Crowd's argument is predicated on the notion that presidents, just like the rest of us, ought to be entitled to a little privacy. This argument fails on two grounds; (A) President Clinton made this issue public when he denied it eight months ago and (B) President Clinton is not, by definition, 'like the rest of us'.
On the first count, the President has admitted to having taken advantage of a college intern working at the White House (that's a public building) who was on the White House Staff (that's public employment) on many occasion in and around the Oval Office (again a public building). Also, the President lied about the affair in public and (very likely) under oath in Jones vs Clinton. He also may have used the power of his PUBLIC office to cover up the whole sordid matter. This was not a private matter and cannot legitimately be argued as such. A truly private matter in this realm might be an affair between the President and a friend not working in the White House for whom no favors were granted and no cover-up attempted. That, it seems to me, could be argued as part of one's (immoral) private life. Ms. Lewinski is a part of the President's public life not his private life.
On the second count, that the President is 'just like the rest of us', he is the most powerful man in the world. If you and I fall into bad moral habits, we can harm our families, our employers and our friends. The President of the United States can incinerate the planet. Seriously, the very idea that we ought to have at or less than the same moral demands placed on the Chief Executive that we place on our next door neighbor is ludicrous and dangerous. Throughout our history, we have seen the presidency as the repository of all of our highest hopes and ideals and values. To demand less is to do an injustice to the blood that bought our freedoms.
So we get to the other, and in my view, only school of thought remaining. For America to move on, and we must, the Clintons must move out of the White House. Either the President should resign or be removed from office. Nothing short of this sad conclusion will suffice to restore the institution of the presidency to its former and necessary glory."
Pence wrote an op-ed defending coach Bobby Knight of Indiana University after a player decided to transfer because he did not like Knight's constant yelling.
The Coach Stays
Coach Bobby Knight got an early piece of coal last Christmas when a 7 foot sophomore named Jason Collier announced that he was leaving Indiana Universities' basketball program. Collier told the press that Knight made him feel bad about how he was performing so, despite Knight's promises of greater sensitivity in the future, Jason took a powder.
Explaining his departure, Collier said, "how would you like being told, every day, that you weren't doing your job right... I just didn't feel I should stay." We may be assured that Mr. Collier will never make in politics or talk radio. Being told you aren't doing your job right is more than a daily experience for most people in highly competitive positions.
In the immediate aftermath of Collier's decision, media pundits began the predictable calls for Coach Knight's resignation. The basic argument goes like this; Knight is too hard on kids...kids in the 90's won't put up with it... so get a 90's kind of coach who will kinder and gentler but still kick Kentucky's butt. Sounds reasonable enough until you reflect on why Bobby Knight has managed to hang three national championship banners on the wall of Assembly Hall without even a whiff of scandal or rules violations. Namely, Bobby Knight knows how to get more out of young men than most scouts ever realized was there.
Is Bobby Knight too tough on kids? Absolutely, but that is precisely how he has managed to build teams that hold a game plan together even in the fabled final four. The concept is simple; if you can live through the high stress environment of playing for Coach Knight, keeping your cool when a national championship is on the line is a piece of cake. All of this reads like common sense. So why can't the sports media see it that way?
Two reasons; few in the sports media have ever been a part of a winning program and our country has gone soft. The first assertion is easy to defend. The next time you read or hear a vitriolic attack on Bobby Knight's tactics, ask the pundit, 'and how many winning programs have you been a part of?'. For most, the answer will be none. In my own business (talk radio) the airwaves are full of people with no experience commenting with authority on matters about which they have no experience. (Ain't the First Amendment great?) As bad as talk radio can be in this regard, it pales in comparison to the pretensions of sports commentating.
The other reason we fail to recognize the value of Bobby Knight's toughminded approach is that we are going soft as a country. We no longer accept the concept that people need to be "toughened up" to achieve excellence. We have gone from 'if it feels good-do it, to if it doesn't feel good, nobody should do it'. Since we have gone soft as a country, we are more willing to accept the illogic of those who would call for an end to Coach Knight's career.
The best scene in the movie "Hoosiers" is where the locals gather to vote on keeping the character played by Gene Hackman on as head coach of the Hickory Hicks. When it comes to a choice between whiners in the sport and media versus standing up for a tough minded approach to making boys into men, I would borrow a simple line at the end of that scene..." the coach stays."
Pence wrote an op-ed in support of neighborhood road stops to check for drugs.
Neighborhood Drug Roadblocks
It's been a while since we've seen the Indiana Civil Liberties Union and the Far Right Fringe agree on anything but leave it to Mayor Steve Goldsmith. He just has a way of bringing people together. It's all about the Random Neighborhood Drug Roadblocks instituted by the Mayor and IPD Chief Zunk in the past month. The ICLU has already made a federal case out of it. They filed a suit to stop the roadblocks in October.
Seems that the neighbors in certain parts of our inner city are getting a little tired of having their pane glass windows shot out during Whell of Fortune and have asked, nay, begged, IPD to do something about it. The drug violence that has continued to terrorize their streets comes in all forms of intimidation and threats to person and property and they've all had just about enough.
So along comes the city with a plan to set up completely random roadblocks where Rover the Drug Sniffing Canine can circle the vehicle and ascertain whether any hallucinagenic contraband is on board. After some three weeks and 3,500 stops, IPD has made about 120 arrests and the neighborhood is delighted. Bone headed dealers with trunks full of controlled substances have been nailed without so much as a stake-out, all because of the random neighborhood drug roadblocks.
What's wrong with this picture? Nothing if you ask the neighbors. Everything, if you ask the limosine liberals and limosine libertarians of the radical right. It seems the folks at the ICLU and the liberty loving right wingers think our founding fathers intended to prevent such encroachments on the liberties of drug dealers when they crafted the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. In that paragraph of the Bill of Rights, our founders asserted their freedom from any unreasonable government search or seizure absent probable cause. The operative word here is unreasonable. Americans are not secured against any search and seizure just unreasonable ones. That's why the Courts have consistently recognized that random traffic roadblocks, like random drug testing, does not violate the Constitution. What is unreasonable about a completely random traffic stop in an area of town overrun by the kind of low life, pond scum that sell drugs to our kids? Surely the threat of a 2 minute stop of motorists who traverse these war zones of our city is not too much to ask to protect the families who live there. It's easy for the cultural elites to criticize reasonable efforts to vouchsafe the streets of our inner cities. They dont live there.
In one blog post, Pence expressed outrage over an assisted-suicide committed by Jack Kervorkian.
DOCTOR DEATH CROSSES THE (STATE) LINE
They found her body in a room in the Relax Motel just outside the Detroit airport. Her name was Heidi Aseltine of Indianapolis. She was a 27 year old AIDS victim. She was also, apparently, a victim of Dr. Jack Kervorkian.
While no evidence of Kervorkian’s presence was found in the room, beside Aseltine’s body was a note instructing authorities to contact the bad doctor’s attorney with questions.
The reasons why she went to Michigan are obvious; Indiana outlawed physician assisted suicide during the last session of the General Assembly. In addition, we have something of a reputation for enforcing our laws, even where the famous are concerned. Kervorkian wouldn’t risk his liberty on Indiana justice. Mike Tyson made that mistake.
The reason why she took her life is much less knowable. According to press accounts, Aseltine had contracted AIDS but was described by neighbors as ‘in good health'. The likelihood is that, as in several recent cases, Kervorkian helped a depressed person into the next world. In a day when we have more treatments for depression than ever before, Kervorkian stands like some medieval figure offering only death as an alternative to modern prescriptions for mental pain.
Media response to these tragic events has been muted. Gone is the outcry heard from the establishment press in the wake of the suicide deaths of 39 at the Heaven's Gate cult merely two weeks ago. In it’s place is a solemn recitation of the facts, tagged with the obligatory nod to the defining ethos of our time: the right to choose. We are told that, in the end, a person like Heidi Aseltine should have the right to choose death with the assistance of her physician.
The harsh truth is that Kervokian is a monster and assisted suicide is immoral. Kervorkian’s twisted fascination with death can be established with the most casual reading of his philosophy and career. “Assisted Suicide” is immoral because we are called through the millennia by our creator to choose life. Murder is wrong. Self-murder is wrong. Assisting in self-murder is wrong.
I join the late Ms. Aseltine’s family and friends in grieving her loss. She was a victim of a predatory monster and a culture fascinated with death. Perhaps some harsh truth telling will steer a few from Kervorkian’s dark path.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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