For anyone who’s been keeping themselves briefed on the current political landscape, most certainly haven’t had the name Pete Buttigieg escape them. He’s young, a veteran, has a progressive mindset, and, perhaps the main reason why he’s gathered so much attention from various sources, he’s a proud and open member of the LGBT community, having been married to his husband Chasten Glezman for just a few months short of a year.
In my brief time, I’ve seen several articles announcing support at his presidential aspirations, and even others wanting him to succeed, with the notion that America is ready for an openly LGBT president. Aside from this, he’s been seen as an individual who wants to bring young and fresh blood into the democratic party as more and more, the younger members find themselves taking center stage.
He’s openly voiced his support for numerous policies, calling for universal healthcare, universal background checks for gun control, federal laws supporting LGBT groups, climate change policy, and in addition to this he makes an important note that regulatory capture, which is when groups created to advance public interests instead end up working to advance special interests, is a major problem that needs to be addressed.
Having been named as “one of four Democrats who represent the future of the Democratic Party” by none other than President Obama himself, he’s grounded his presidential campaign on wanting to bring a “fresh start” to America. This ties directly into his previous political experience as Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Over the course of his time as mayor, he made various popular changes to South Bend, and was re-elected for a second term with 80% of the vote.
However, this is also where his greatest problem exists. His only political experience is his time as Mayor of South Bend, having only served two terms. The town itself has less than 100,000 residents. Aside from this, there is very little political experience that would translate. Going from a mayor to a president in a single election, and from governing less than 100,000 people to 327.2 million people, is a massive change.
Despite having very strong traits that would make a good political candidate, his lack of experience is something that would be very difficult to overcome. However, it’s not entirely impossible. Donald Trump himself had no political experience and found himself as the president, so it’s not entirely impossible for it occur. But, it’s important to remember that he’ll be going against very experienced career democrats.
While his goal of achieving victory isn’t necessarily unreachable, I personally believe that he’d find more success in his presidential ambitions if he were to get more experience before he ran for president. One of the primary reasons he’s gained such support for his presidential ambitions is due to him being an openly gay individual. Would he have gotten as much attention if he was the typical politician?
In recent history, America has increasingly been making attempts to find itself on the right side of history by enacting various policies and changes in the attempt to recognize how increasingly diverse the population is becoming. Yet, up until 2008, we had a very homogeneous set of presidents. By being an open member of the LGBT group, he’s able to increase representation for this particular group. Just recently in 2018, we had the first openly gay governor in Colorado.
But is America ready for the first openly gay president? Pete does represent the changing political landscape, but if that landscape is going to make it to the White House in the next few years is still something that remains to be seen.