Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), Donald Trump’s newly introduced running mate, is so extreme in his culture-war views that it’s hard to know where to start. His outrageous anti-LGBT views? His radical opposition to reproductive rights? The Republican’s rejection of climate science and evolution?
Perhaps the easiest way to capture Pence’s views on social issues is to consider this BuzzFeed report.
When Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence was a talk radio show host in Indiana, he wrote an op-ed declaring the film Mulan was an attempt by some “mischievous liberal” at Disney to influence the debate over women in the military.The 1999 op-ed ran on a website for Pence’s radio program that was uncovered by BuzzFeed News.
“Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,” Pence wrote. “Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.”
Pence added at the time, “I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan’s story will cause a quiet change in the next generation’s attitude about women in combat and they just might be right.”
The moral of the film, he argued, is that women serving in the military is a “bad idea.”
Regular readers may recall that this subject has long been an area of interest. It simply amazes me how often conservatives “uncover” secret themes and political messages in children’s entertainment – each of which appears a little silly.
It wasn’t too long ago, for example, that Fox News’ Eric Bolling was pretty worked up about the Muppets. Soon after, Lou Dobbs was deeply troubled by a movie about a Dr. Seuss character called The Lorax.
A prominent religious-right figure was convinced Frozen was a demonic device intended to “indoctrinate my 5-year-old to be a lesbian.”
Going back a little further, Jerry Falwell famously went after Tinky Winky the Teletubby. Conservative groups went after Shrek and Shark Tale. James Dobson launched a broadside against SpongeBob SquarePants, while Fox News’ Neil Cavuto perceived Happy Feet as political propaganda.
In other words, Mike Pence has a lot of company. The difference, however, is that none of these other critics of kids’ entertainment are candidates for national office.