I have always respected and admired Mickey Maurer. We have known each other for more than 25 years. During that time our political differences were hardly a secret, but neither were they ever enough to diminish my regard for him.
But when I read his [Aug. 25 column] “Is there room for compassion in politics?” I was simply taken aback.
For reasons that escape me, Maurer chose to lead his column with a fabricated statement attributed to me that read, “We don’t want those illegal children in Indiana.” Why Maurer would falsely attribute those words to me remains a mystery. Nonetheless, the statement is a total fabrication. No such words have ever come from my mouth, nor would they.
Beyond this fabrication, what was most offensive was that Maurer would use his column to equate my recent criticism of President Obama’s decision to place hundreds of unaccompanied minors in Indiana without notifying the state to the civilized world’s refusal to grant refuge to European Jews desperate to escape genocide in the face of the Holocaust.
Maurer’s analogy of the present crisis on our southern border to the plight facing Jewish refugees fleeing certain death in 1939 Germany was insulting to every Hoosier who shares my concern and, more importantly, it was demeaning to the memory of those historic events and the courageous men, women and children who endured the horrors and degradations inflicted on victims of the Holocaust.
Maurer and I disagree about many a thing, including the best way to respond to this recent influx of unaccompanied minors across our nation’s southern border, but I hope, in the future, we can agree that using comparisons to the unspeakable tragedies of the Holocaust to score points in contemporary political disputes is simply beyond the boundaries of reasoned debate.
Gov. Mike Pence