Picture a white, 37-year-old Afghan war veteran, Rhodes Scholar, Episcopalian, Indiana mayor. No, that isn't the latest staffer application for Mike Pence. That is Mayor Pete Buttigieg out of South Bend, Indiana, and he is running for president. And he really is all of those things. Oh yeah, and he is the first openly gay presidential candidate ever.
Mayor Pete first ran for the mayoral seat in South Bend in 2011, and won handily. This crowned him the youngest mayor of a U.S. city with a population above 100,000. He was re-elected in 2015 by an even larger margin.
In 2014, between the two elections, the Navy deployed Buttigieg to Afghanistan where he earned the rank of lieutenant. During that time, he publicly came out as gay, and later married his partner Chasten in June of 2018.
Enough of the history. Let's talk about why I love Mayor Pete.
The first thing that drew me to Mayor Pete was his openness with his faith. I think that the Right has tried to corner the market on religion. I agree with Buttigieg, who said in an interview with The Washington Post that the Left has created policies that have a lot more to do with "protecting the sick and the stranger and the poor” that are rooted in religion.
His unabashed confidence when it comes to his multiple identities and how the two come together is something we all need to learn from. Yes, you can be a Christian and gay. Yes, you can be from the Midwest and liberal.
When it comes to policy, Mayor Pete may not be known for his multitude of plans, but he isn't shying away from the nitty gritty of politics. Perhaps his most in-depth and 'radical' change comes in the Supreme Court.
Now, we can all agree that the Supreme Court has become sensationalized and politicized more than any of the Founding Fathers had imagined. And that comes from both sides of the aisle. Buttigieg is attempting to rid the Court of politics.
His new plan would consist of 15 justices, five liberals and five conservatives, all serving life appointments. “Well, where would the other five come from?” you may ask. They are voted on and appointed by the justices themselves. These "additional" justices each serve one year, and are chosen two years in advance.
This system rids the court packing conundrum we have seen in the past, such as cases like Merrick Garland or Neil Gorsuch. It allows both sides to have their particular justices, but to also have additional nonpartisan deliberators as well.
Where did Clinton fail the most in 2016? The industrial Midwest. Where is Mayor Pete from? Oh yeah, the industrial Midwest. That might help. On top of that, he's young, and he would be the youngest president ever if he wins. He can help attract young voters that might otherwise not come out to the polls.
Most importantly, Mayor Pete exemplifies what we need right now in our country more than ever. In more ways than one, he is the antithesis of Donald Trump. He is well spoken, educated, and patriotic. He is moderate enough to work with politicians from the Right. He was one of the only Democratic candidates to agree to a Fox News town hall (which I went to, and he was amazing).
Pete is ready to “Win the Era,” as he likes to say. He is what we need if we want a sane person at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue come 2021.
P.S. If none of that put you on the Pete Train, he has two dogs, Truman and Buddy, and they are adorable. They have a Twitter. You should all follow it.