One of the positive things I’ve noticed, even appreciated, about Trump being in the White House is that he has sparked a re-awakening about who we are and what we value as American people, as a nation. He has started us all talking again about our national identity. His corruption and unprecedented greed has ignited a passionate counter-response from the truly decent American people.
His being in office has created a fresh wave of politicians in the Congress. More women, whom he wants to repress and control, have entered the Congress than ever. More people of various ethnic and religious beliefs have joined the ranks in Washington. Since we are a diverse nation that values a representative government, making our representatives more representative of the population, of the people, is a good thing, don’t ya think?
One example of this fresh wave can also be seen in the growing pool of Democratic candidates for President. I want to call attention to one of them, a 37 year-old man1 who caught my attention yesterday for a number of good reasons: Pete Buttigieg.
I don’t know if Pete stands a chance in what will certainly be a hotly-contested nomination-seeking process. But I am convinced this man deserves a hearing! Let’s start with how to pronounce his last name: Its sounds like “Budda-judge” said altogether.
The High Points (Link to About Pete)
Peter is a millennial Mayor (South Bend, IN), an Afghanistan war veteran (military intelligence), and a husband2 . He lives in the town in which he was raised and now is mayor, South Bend, Indiana. He won re-election with 80% of the vote. In other words, the good people of South Bend, Indiana, really like this guy.
He’s given the city a bold new direction, turning it from a dying city3 and bringing in new jobs in industries that promise growth for the future. He’s a Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar. In other words, he’s smart, he’s articulate, and he’s thinking about the future–not looking to the past.
A Few of His Initial Talking Points
- His generation deserves a seat at the table now because they will get stuck paying the bills created by the Republican tax plan and the Republican’s ballooning deficit. His generation is going to get stuck paying for the cost of global warming. His generation stands to be the first to make less money than their parents–in other words, to lose the American Dream.
- He has more experience in government than Trump. He has more business leadership experience than Pence. He has more military experience than any president since Herbert Walker Bush.
- He has a vision for creating the future of the nation not trying to reproduce some past version of the country that can never again exist. You can never go back. You plan to move forward to something better. “There is no ‘Again.'”
- He wants to reclaim the concepts of Freedom, Democracy, and Security. Freedom is not just freedom from… such as freedom from government as if government is the only thing that can make us unfree. Freedom is freedom to… Freedom to organize, reproductive freedom, freedom to marry. He wants all Americans to have the freedom to start a new job-producing company or change jobs without worrying about not having health insurance. He wants those at the end of their lives to have the freedom to make care decisions based on their medical needs and living well, not trying to avoid the financial destruction of their families. Healthcare is “a freedom.” This is just a piece of his vision to reclaim actual freedom, because freedom absolutely includes things like this.
- He has some great ideas about reclaiming Democracy that include empowering voters, eliminating the Electoral College, etc.
- Many of Trump’s supporters voted for Trump because they felt he wanted to blow up the status quo. He was a Washington outsider that said he cared about middle Americans in the rust belt. Pete works very successfully in government in the middle American rust belt, reinventing it, returning job security and prosperity to it. Pete thinks we want Washington to work more like our successful and prospering cities. We don’t want our cities looking more like Washington. He wants to change that status quo.
- He says we don’t build greatness through resentment and nostalgia, through looking back and trying to bring back some fictional version of the past. We build greatness by doing what our forbearers always did: keeping our focus on building a great future, rethinking greatness, re-imagining what success now looks like.
- He speaks of building generational alliances and respecting the hard work of those on whose shoulders we now stand.
- Security isn’t a wall from sea to shining sea. Security is much more than border security. It’s cyber-security; it’s election security; it’s climate security.
- He says that the right has done a really good job in his lifetime of laying out their values and then creating policy to accomplish that vision. He wants to do the same thing: first clearly define and share our Democratic values and then create policy to make those values a reality.
Watch a Little (below) to Get to Know this Rising Star
Or Watch a Lot (below)
The introduction ends around the 6 or 7 minute mark. Pete then speaks, and the question and answer section begins around the 22 minute mark. The great thing about the Q&A section is you can see Pete thinking and talking off script on his feet. Again, this man is smart and articulate. And, being New Hampshire, these folks are asking some excellent questions!
I’ll be making a contribution to Pete Buttigieg’s campaign because I think the nation needs to hear what this man has to say, and participation in the televised national debates is based in part on the number of people who have made contributions of any size to the candidate. Let’s put him on the debate stage: Give him a couple of bucks!
I actually think that, even if he doesn’t secure the party nomination for 2020, this candidate is the future of the Democratic Party. And I’m putting myself in the good company of many seasoned and respected politicians (including Barack Obama and David Axlerod) and media who are saying the same thing: Pete Buttigieg represents the future of the Democratic Party. He thinks, and he thinks big for America.