The growing unpopularity of U.S. President Donald Trump is rubbing off on Vice President Mike Pence. Proof of this was evident when dozens of graduates at Notre Dame University walked out on Sunday when the former Indiana governor delivered his commencement speech.

We StaND For, a student coalition, organized the walk-out. The group pointed to the record of Pence as Vice President and governor of Indiana as the reason for their action. They specifically cited LGBT rights, sanctuary cities, the travel ban, and the Syrian refugee resettlement as issues of contention.

Policies marginalize groups of people

In a statement released last week, We StaND For said that Pence’s policies on these four issues has marginalized people for their beliefs, skin color, and sexual orientation. Their walk-out was a show of respect for those groups of people.

Besides the walk out, 1,700 faculty, staff, and alumni of Notre Dame University signed an open letter to protest the commencement speech of the VP for similar reasons.

Stifling free speech

Pence said in his talk that a noxious wave of computer culture is raging across college campuses. He blamed the wave for causing a derision in speech codes, tone policing, safe zones, and political correctness sanctioned by the school administration.

But the VP said it is not the atmosphere in Notre Dame.

He noted that deliberation is welcome at the Catholic university where opposite views are debated. Pence pointed out that at Notre Dame, all speakers, whether their views are not popular or not fashionable, are given the right to share their views publicly for everyone to hear.

It was that line that initiated the walk-out for some students, while those that remained applauded the VP.

The VP’s rating

The silent protest by some Notre Dame graduates is not really surprising because it is not Republican territory. In November, during a mock election at the university, 59.3 percent of participants surveyed voted for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, her running mate, but, only 24 percent voted for Trump and Pence.

The growing call for Trump's impeachment is supported by 48 percent of survey participants. In another poll conducted by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute in early May, Pence received an approval rating of 45.5 percent, while Trump received 44.1 percent. The same trend was evident in the disapproval rating as well -- 43.4 percent for the VP and 51.2 percent for the president.

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