Pete Buttigieg: Why “Mayor Pete” is not just another candidate

Buttigieg (left) stands alongside Anderson Cooper during CNN’s town hall event on Monday night.

By: Sam Giacobello | Writer

April 26, 2019

Chances are that if you’ve heard of Pete Buttigieg, you know that he is running for the Democratic nomination for president and is hoping to become the first homosexual POTUS. That’s all true, but defining “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg by his sexuality takes away a lot of what makes the current mayor of South Bend so special.

Pete Buttigieg’s life before politics is truly one to admire; Buttigieg graduated from Harvard University in 2005 before receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Oxford in 2007 on a Rhodes Scholarship. However, his actions after college separate him from other Rhodes Scholars. Buttigieg joined the Navy Reserve in 2009 and was deployed for seven months in Afghanistan in 2014. Not every Rhodes Scholar or graduate from Oxford and Harvard chooses to serve their country in the military, but Pete Buttigieg is not just “every Rhodes Scholar.”

To justify those who focus on the significance of Buttigieg’s sexuality, I must point out that it is a remarkable thing when looking at his background. A devout Episcopalian, Buttigieg is the sitting mayor of South Bend, an Indiana town of 100,000 that happens to sit next to the University of Notre Dame, one of the most well-known, prestigious Catholic universities in the country. For Buttigieg, however, being gay doesn’t mean you cannot practice religion. When asked a question on being an LGBTQ+ person of faith, Buttigieg had a response that left most of his audience standing behind him.

“So, as you know, it can be challenging to be a person of faith who’s also part of the LGBTQ+ community, and yet to me the core of faith is regard for one another,” Buttigieg said during CNN’s Town Hall event on Monday night. “And part of how God’s love is experienced, according to my faith’s tradition, is in the way that we support one another and in particular support the least among us.”

Even though “Mayor Pete” has won over many Democrats, and even myself as a Republican, he still has a major uphill battle to face if he hopes to be the next President. One major criticism of the candidate is that he has a lot to say, but little to back it. “He hasn’t proposed any policies still,” sophomore Ryan Georgi said. “All he’s done is bash Trump for being ‘anti LGBT+’ without even giving backup for that.” And even if Buttigieg does start backing up his words with actions, the South Bend mayor will already have little chance of gaining many Republican votes if he does win the primary. For much of the religious right, Pete Buttigieg’s sexuality alone is enough to lose their votes. Whether it is just or not, the fact that Buttigieg is gay will hurt him in a national election.

Whether or not Pete Buttigieg becomes the next President of the United States or even wins the Democratic primary, I believe he represents the future of our nation’s politics and is a beacon of hope amid the political disaster America faces today. Buttigieg chose to serve his country and worships a God even though they are not always willing to fight for his own rights as a homosexual man, and I see no reason to believe he would hesitate to fight again for the American people if he was given the opportunity.

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