Author and conservative pundit Ben Shapiro has a theory on why so many on the left abhor Vice President Mike Pence, whom many have characterized as the boogeyman lurking in the wings behind President Donald Trump.
Should Trump be impeached — a political move some on the left are desperate to make — Pence would ascend to the presidency. That reality has resulted in a smattering of think pieces explaining the outlandish “dangers” that would arise should a born-again Christian assume the mantel currently filled by a billionaire tycoon whose alleged sexual exploits would have been of great concern to voters in a pre-Bill Clinton America.
Shapiro’s comments, which came during a segment last week on “Fox News @ Night,” were framed around a recent New York Times column from Frank Bruni, who described Pence as “self-infatuated,” “a bigot,” “a liar,” “cruel” and a “holy terror.”
For the left, no matter how bad the current Republican is, the conservative man or woman next in line is always, always much worse. That is certainly true of the vice president.
But that’s not the only reason progressives express particular disdain for Pence, according to Shapiro. He argued their fear of the former Indiana governor stems from a “hatred” for Christians, who — in their view — simply use religion as a guise to soften the blow of their bigotry.
Shapiro referenced the recent case against Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who originally made headlines for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because doing so would contradict his Christian convictions. He won that case with the U.S. Supreme Court in June, but is now embroiled in another controversy for refusing to design a cake for a customer wanting to celebrate transgenderism.
“Really, he hates gay people; it’s not that he’s a Christian who believes he has to abide by his religious standards; it’s that he secretly hates gay people and trans people and he’s just using religion as a cover,” Shapiro told host Shannon Bream, explaining the thinking of many on the left. “They say the same sort of thing about Mike Pence; truly there’s a tyrannical tendency among religious people, and then they just use Jesus or the Bible as an excuse.”
Later in the discussion, Shapiro also pointed out the irony of the fact that it’s often progressives, who presumably want to enlarge government, who suggest conservatives like Pence, who value less federal control, want to establish some sort of far-reaching theocratic dynasty from the Oval Office.
“The only theocrats — the only people who actually want to rule from above by instituting their moral preferences on society from the top down — are the folks on the left, who actually want to invade rights on a regular basis and force people to do things that they don’t want to do,” Shapiro told Bream.
Oversized government control, the conservative commentator argued, is much more at home in progressive ideology. Shapiro said far-left liberals often see the federal government as a “quasi God-like figure.”
“They’re using their own theocratic tendency and then projecting it onto people like Mike Pence,” he concluded.