Pence disrupting the peace on Mackinac Island

Kate McHugh

 Michigan’s Mackinac Island has not seen a car for 121 years.

Motor vehicles were banned in 1898 because the noises scared the horses and this appeals to many tourists on the island.

The island has even gone so far as to ban electric bikes and scooters, with the exception of emergency medical vehicles.

Everyone travels by foot, bike, or horse drawn carriage – that is until recently.

Vice President Mike Pence believes he is above everyone else and proved so by breaking this tradition.

Pence headed to the Grand Hotel on September 21 for a Republican Party conference with an eight-car motorcade.

What hurts the most is how Pence’s actions show he has no respect for the tradition of the island.

He has been the only sitting vice president to visit the island, yet other prominent political visitors include Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

None of these former presidents brought their motorcade.

 “What hurts the most is how Pence’s actions show he has no respect for the tradition of the island.”

The only sitting president to visit Mackinac Island was Gerald Ford, who traveled the island by carriage.

The secret service did bring an emergency vehicle, but it was hidden and never used.

The current administration continues to amaze with its lack of integrity and honor for the law.

Donald Trump claims he wants to uphold the Constitution, yet he and his vice president are constantly bending laws to fit their own desires.

Islanders are appalled, calling Pence’s motorcade “a huge transgression”.

“They have to ruin everything. Every. Last. Good. Thing. In. America”, as tweeted by Robynn James, Mackinac resident.

James continued, “#MackinacIsland not having cars is part of our #Michigan heritage. Veep just took a dump on the pride of all Michiganders.”

I understand the Vice President needs to be protected, but I have walked from the port to the Grand Hotel and know the walk is short (carriage ride is even shorter) and not heavily populated.

Such extremes are not necessary to disrespect the island and its traditions.

An eight-car motorcade takes up a lot of room, but the “roads” on the island barely fit two carriages passing each other, let alone two cars side by side.

Not only has Mr. Pence blatantly disrespected the island and its tradition, he also obstructed the only roads that everyone uses and created a hazard for travelers.

While I do not understand what possessed Pence and his security team to believe he needed an eight-car motorcade, I can say this – no one is above tradition or respect.

Mackinac Island is a picturesque location, still stuck in the 1800s, but those features just adds to the appeal.

Most of the houses are from the early 19th century, the air always smells like fudge, and all you can hear is the clip-clop of horses.

Many people take the 8.2 mile bike ride or run as a part of their morning routine and then chat with their neighbors.

Mackinac is a utopian island, but its integrity has been ruined because Pence decided he was too good for carriages and bikes.