The whole reason Trump picked the governor of Indiana as his VP choice was because he needed someone who could rally Republicans that backed other candidates like Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Since I voted for Cruz and would have voted for Kasich if he was the only candidate left by the time of the Wisconsin primary, I decided that it made total sense for me to go and see Pence because up until now I didn't support Trump. I went with a friend to Waukesha, but what surprised me immediately was that there was a bad turnout. I think the Waukesha County Expo Center was 75 percent full, but that isn't good when you compare turnout to Trump rallies (I tried to get into two twice before finally entering at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis).
Before Pence spoke, several local politicians gave speeches in support of Trump, but also to slam Hillary Clinton. I think it is obvious that if Trump wants unity in the GOP, he needs to hammer how dangerous Clinton will be if she becomes president. Governor Scott Walker and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also gave speeches. This rally proved that the entire Republican Party of Wisconsin's leadership now backed the nominee even though most of them overwhelming opposed him in the primary.
When Pence spoke, he gave an excellent speech on conservative principles. Everything from economic issues to social issues were touted. He spoke about his record in Indiana in order to help people understand his experience as a state executive and how it could help in the White House. He talked about the concerns many people have today when it comes our economy and foreign policy. If Trump wanted Pence to help gather the votes of many voters, I think he did it. I looked up Pence's gubernatorial record and he's a natural conservative on issues from gun policy to economic reforms.
I still believe Trump was a bad choice for the GOP nomination, but he did go out of his way to appeal to conservatives by providing a list of advisers and potential choices for the Supreme Court. If Trump were to back away on these promises, then he would completely lose his base. Some are concerned he would become an unfortunate staple on the conservative movement, but I don't think most Americans see him that way (we've just witnessed a primary were candidates who were more conservative tried to defeat him). When it comes to policies I disagree with him on (like raising the minimum wage), our only hope is that Congress keeps him in check (and if Trump wins the White House, chances are Republicans will still control the legislative branch). If Congress, now under the control of Wisconsin native Paul Ryan, remains vigilant, then I think we can get real reform done. In fact, if Trump is not willing to enact conservative policies and gridlock mounts, then there is a real chance that a Republican can defeat him for the nomination in 2020. Trump will have to be very cautious if he moves too far to the left. In the end, I have decided at this time that I will vote for the GOP ticket (unless something changes) because I like Pence. Frankly, it is a simple mathematical equation:
0 (Trump) + 1 (Pence) = 1
0 (Clinton) + 0 (Kaine) = 0
1 (GOP) > 0 (Democrats)I did consider voting for a third party, but I'm not satisfied with the choices. I'm certainly not voting for the leftist Jill Stein and the Green Party. This left Gary Johnson and the Libertarian ticket. Johnson won a record number of votes for the Libertarian Party in 2012 and will probably win more this time. I love most of his economic message, but I can't stand his foreign policy, which is arguably more dangerous than what I expect from the nominees nominated by the top two parties. Now is not the time for less interventionism when ISIS is on the run and China is expanding. This is an area where I actually think Trump will perform the best because he seems genuine when he talks about his hatred of ISIS (though I dislike his love of Russia's Vladimir Putin). Can I change my opinion? Yes I can. By election day I may be voting for someone else, but as of now I'm with Trump because I see Pence as a powerful conservative voice in the White House.