Monday, May 6, 2019

Unlikely, Untested, Unprecedented

Unlikely, Untested, Unprecedented. Those are three words Time Magazine uses to describe Pete Buttigieg’s courageous campaign.

Time reminds us that Obergefell was a mere four years ago; the landmark ruling that gave me the right to marry my longtime partner in life. A right taken for granted by almost everyone except us. Because, we’re gay. Time’s piece is also a shocking reminder that there is no time to relish our totally unexpected and joyous victory.

Its time to remind ourselves that the battle is not over. Time tells us of the taunting cruelty of Randall Terry in a devil costume at a Buttigieg rally in Iowa and reminds us of Franklin Grahams’ hateful remarks “being gay is “something to be repentant of, not something to be flaunted, praised or politicized” and Jacob Wohl’s despicable attempt to frame Pete Buttigieg as a homosexual rapist. The mere accusation of such a heinous crime has caused the murder of more than a few innocent gay men. 

And its not just out there, its here at DailyKos. From being called a “joke of a candidate”, “just another white guy”, to false claims he’s a trust fund baby, to a bizarre accusation of “lacking self-awareness” to claims that his 3 years working at McKinsey analyzing grocery store prices for a Canadian company was somehow an endorsement of violent dictators and everything that is wrong with the world. Clearly, he’s a major threat. 

Breathtaking. As a gay man, thats my one word description of Buttigieg’s campaign. Time accurately describes his rise from total obscurity to ahead of a pack of better known, more established candidates. The two frontrunners are more than twice Pete’s age. 

Time points out one of the reasons why he has strong appeal. His ability to eloquently speak with total simplicity and honesty and in a way that resounds with voters:
Buttigieg tells TIME, sitting on his living-room couch in South Bend. He roots his campaign in an effort to reframe progressive ideas in conservative language. “If the substance of your ideas is progressive but there’s mistrust about them among conservatives, you have three choices,” Buttigieg tells TIME, sitting on his living-room couch in South Bend. “One is to just change your ideas and make them more conservative. The second is to sort of be sneaky and try to make it seem like your ideas are more conservative than they are. And the third, the approach that I favor, is to stick to your ideas, but explain why conservatives shouldn’t be afraid of them.”
Time does an excellent job going through Pete’s extraordinary resume and he and his partner, Chasten’s coming out experience in the socially conservative midwest.

It tells an all too familiar story of their coming out experience; the good, the bad and the ugly. Mayor Pete thought for sure that he would not win reelection as Mayor of South Bend after coming out in a newspaper editorial. He won reelection with 80% of the vote.

When reflecting his coming out experience, once again speaks with incredible eloquence and in a way that strikes a strong chord with many:
All this informs his belief that it’s still possible to reach across America’s political divide. “We’ve got to get away from this kill-switch mentality that we see on Twitter,” he says. He has seen once disapproving parents dance at their gay son’s wedding and homophobic military officers take back their words, and so he believes in the power of redemption and forgiveness. “This idea that we just sort people into baskets of good and evil ignores the central fact of human existence, which is that each of us is a basket of good and evil,” he says. “The job of politics is to summon the good and beat back the evil.”
Time lays out a very fair and accurate narrative about Pete’s tenure as mayor including his signature issue — urban renewal. Time points out that not a single person was evicted from their home in the process. They fairly present the views of South Bend African American residents; both pro and con. Time talks about his lack of policy, especially compared to Elizabeth Warren, a real policy wonk, and his preference for narrative over policy:
“Maybe I’m saying the narrative is policy,” he responds, in a typical attempt at reframing. “Narrative is how you get people to embrace the policies you’re putting forward.” His campaign plans to release more detailed policies this week.
There’s more discussion about the privilege Buttigieg enjoys as a white male while acknowledging the challenges he has as an out, married gay man.

Its a great piece and I encourage you to read it.

Pete’s campaign is a reminder that the LGBT community won a major battle with Obergefell, but that the war is far from over. With his campaign, he’s at the tip of the spear as we continue to work towards righteous victory against those that hate us. He’s exposing them for what they are and shedding a powerful light on their own darkness. For that, for Pete and his campaign, I’m eternally grateful. Go Pete Go.

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