Forward thinking

Politicians generally like to present themselves as “looking forward”, and their opponents and critics as obsessed with the past, particularly when their past is a parade of blunders and/or crimes. But Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has taken this to a new level:

When pressed again about why we won’t disavow a total ban on Muslim immigration, Pence said it’s because there’s nothing there to disavow.

“Well, because it’s not Donald Trump’s position now,” Pence said.

“I’m proud to stand with him when he says that we need—we need to suspend immigration from countries and territories that have been compromised by terrorism,” Pence added. “I understand why you want to play the oldies, you want to talk about the where the campaign began or what statements were made but the American people are focused on—are focused on the policies that Donald Trump is articulating every day across this country.”

So it’s not just rehashing old events that counts as too backward-looking: Also discussing your previous statements about future plans — which are still posted on your campaign websites — and asking how they contradict your current statements is “playing the oldies”, something that hip young broad-shouldered toughs like Trump and Pence will not countenance.

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