Vehemently support him or steadfastly oppose him, but it would be hard for anyone to argue President Donald Trump isn't one of the most divisive national leaders in memory.

If things continue in their current course, it's surely at least a major piece of how history will remember him.

But history also should recall key Trump lieutenants who worked to weave a more measured message on world and national events and controversies than the chief executive.

And a top Hoosier is chief among those figures.

Count Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana's former governor, as a continuing voice of reason in a Trump White House that recently inflamed racial controversies surrounding the senseless violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While Trump was criticized for not strenuously condemning neo-Nazis and white supremacists, in a separate public appearance Pence called out the hate groups by name.

It has become a common theme in the Trump presidency.

Some criticize Pence's unflappable loyalty to Trump.

But ultimately, he's demonstrated a mindful, thoughtful balance to Trump's frequent bombastic delivery on both domestic and foreign issues.

We've seen it from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as well, providing calm and measured messages on the nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea, soon after Trump promised "fire and fury."

Both Tillerson and Pence have become public filters of Trump's bombast, doing what they can to re-frame what can be taken as insensible rhetoric into rationale and measured statements of ideology and policy.

We haven't always agreed with Pence. When he was governor, we opposed his shortsighted support of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The law, which required a quick fix because of the political and social backlash, was perceived as discriminatory against people because of their sexual preferences.

But since then, Pence's public persona has been, at least in part, reborn as a level head of the Trump administration.

Agree with him or not, a Hoosier is making a historic mark as a filter-in-chief who frequently presents as far more presidential than his boss.

History will be the ultimate judge, but the levelheadedness of Pence and other measured voices of reason may be just the thing our country needs right now.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.