Your Complete, One Stop Guide to Why Buttigieg is the Wrong Choice

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pete Buttigieg is talented, is the first openly gay Democratic presidential candidate, and is liked by a lot of people. He is also absolutely not the right candidate for this election. Here, gathered in one convenient place, are some of the reasons why, based on excellent reporting from dozens of journalists.

1. He’s running on his resumé. It’s pretty thin!

Pete Buttigieg likes to refer to himself as “effectively the CEO of a 1,200 person, $250 million corporation which is the city of South Bend.”

That’s great, but Buttigieg is mayor of the forty-seventh largest city in the Midwest, he received 8,515 votes last election, he’s only had the job since 2012, and he has made the shocking admission that he “worked for years under the illusion that our schools in my city were integrated…”

Pete is much less experienced than, say, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, or Amy Klobuchar. As Ryan Cooper writes:

Buttigieg is just preposterously inexperienced. He would be 39 on inauguration day, and thus the youngest president in American history, with nothing but the mayoralty of the 306th-largest city in the country and a single seven-month tour in Afghanistan as a low-level officer as experience. Among presidents, only Trump would have had less before taking office.

Conclusion: It’s almost impossible to imagine a woman or person of color with his slim resumé being taken seriously as a presidential candidate.

2. His time at McKinsey raises a lot of questions.

Buttigieg likes to tell crowds, “I got started in the private sector,” and says that at McKinsey he “never worked on a project inconsistent with my values.” But, as Brendan O’Connor writes, “This is a company that tells other companies (and governments) how to be as ruthless as possible.” (See their work on opioid sales, ICE, and for authoritarian governments, for example.)

  • USPS: Tara Golshan reports that Buttigieg was part of a McKinsey team that advised the U.S. Postal Service to, among other things “replace unionized labor with non-unionized labor.” His campaign team says the future world leader’s role was limited to [checks notes] advising on greeting card sales. Lol.
  • Blue Cross: Buttigieg also consulted to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Ryan Grim tweeted, “After retaining McKinsey, Blue Cross raised premiums and fired workers,” a fact Trump would exploit in the general election. Former industry flack Wendell Potter explains:

Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow he “doubts” whether his work was connected to layoffs, but that’s not what he implied in a 2011 forum. He also says he is disappointed by some of what McKinsey does now, but it’s disingenuous to suggest they have changed; they have always been almost comically evil. And while the scrutiny has caused him to downplay his time there, critics aren’t buying it. Edward-Isaac Dovere writes:

Buttigieg has intentionally tried to position himself as the next Barack Obama, another “young man with a funny name,” as he put it in a big speech in Iowa last month. But this is among the points where they diverge. Obama took two years after college to work for a few thousand dollars a year as a community organizer in Chicago. Buttigieg came back from Oxford a Rhodes Scholar, and could have had almost any first job he wanted. He chose McKinsey, working out of a Chicago office a few miles from where Obama had been knocking on doors to fight for issues like tenants’ rights. To his critics, going to work at McKinsey at all says something about what the mayor values.

Conclusion: Buttigieg’s campaign has denied he was involved in any of the stuff—price fixing, layoffs, and union busting—his clients did after hiring McKinsey, but that’s hard to believe, and his record would be used against him in a general election. Beyond that, his choice to work as an errand boy of extractive capitalism reflects a boring but destructive neoliberal worldview that has been in place since the Cold War. It’s the exact opposite of the fresh new approach he’s trying to sell.

3. His record as mayor is very troubling.

Pete Buttigieg is running on his record as mayor. But that record reveals blind spots and failures that suggest he is not ready for the biggest job in the world.

1. Residents in largely low-income and black neighborhoods say the mayor’s gentrification policies ignored their needs. Of his plan to demolish 1,000 structures in his first 1,000 days in office, Buttigieg wrote that “In some ways, it was a classic example of data-driven management paying off,” but Henry Gomez of Buzzfeed reports that many felt he was indifferent to poor people and people of color and that he “didn’t listen to their concerns about displacement.” The HuffPost reports:

While South Bend’s economic fortunes have improved overall, homelessness and displacement have worsened. Buttigieg has sold a park to private developers and given tax breaks to luxury condos. Less than a mile west of South Bend’s booming downtown, its African American and Latino residents continue to complain of police harassment, rampant evictions and a team of “code enforcement” inspectors who fine them every time they forget to mow their own lawns.

2. He has been accused of doing very little about homelessness. South Bend Pastor Mario Sims claims that Buttigieg has never taken homelessness seriously, but instead has thrown money to cronies who do very little. Watch:

Others point to his demolition of a homeless encampment in freezing weather — there have been multiple deaths by freezing during Mayor Pete’s time in office — as evidence of his priorities.

3. His management of the police force, which has (among other things) become less diverse during his tenure, reveals a mix of incompetence, indifference, and dishonesty.

  • He has for years resisted calls for a civilian review board to oversee the police, one that would have members chosen in part by the public. A July, 2019 editorial in the South Bend Tribune states, “Such a system is sorely needed now, with mistrust at an all-time high.”
  • TYT reports that when one of the officers alleged to have used racist language ran for sheriff, his biggest backers included top Buttigieg supporters “and the lawyer Buttigieg brought in to handle the tapes case.” If this is true, he should explain. Surely his friends would have refrained from supporting this former officer if Pete had asked them to.
  • Buttigieg’s response to the fatal police shooting in June of Eric Logan angered many black residents.
  • Jordan Chariton reports that the current police chief lied about a December arrest “in which South Bend cops were caught imitating Klansmen from the film ‘Django Unchained’ while arresting a young black man” and that Buttigieg, although still mayor at the time, remained silent.
  • This came after Black police officers in South Bend told MSNBC that Buttigieg never addressed racial issues when mayor, and after Michael Harriot’s extensive reporting found Buttigieg’s story of his management of the police force to be full of holes.

4. Pete Buttigieg was — for years — not aware that the schools in his county were not desegregated, which is an extraordinary admission for someone who grew up there and is the mayor.

“I have to confess that I was slow to realize — I worked for years under the illusion that our schools in my city were integrated…” he said in an interview with Rev. William Barber III, a prominent civil rights activist.

It’s revealing that the candidate who suggested that others need to have “some humility” is running for president when he has been so unaware of the lived experience of students of color in his own city. For a Harvard-educated, McKinsey-trained, data-driven technocrat to not know something so basic can only mean that he never cared enough to know. Julian Castro’s reaction:

Zak Cheney-Rice writes:

“It’s hard to avoid concluding that Buttigieg’s “illusion” about desegregation is the same willful sort indulged by white people the nation over. It’s the sort that lets him remark off-handedly that achievement gaps stem from a lack of evidence that education pays dividends for black children, then admit years later to knowing little about the actual problem until long after being entrusted with fixing it.”

5. South Bend spends less than 1% of its procurement budget on minority-owned businesses. The HuffPost reports that, “A think tank hired to produce a report on the city’s racial wealth gap was specifically prohibited from issuing recommendations for addressing it.” People of color make up more than 40% of the city’s population.

6. He hired a mostly white staff in South Bend. Akela Lacy of The Intercept reports that, “of nine South Bend city departments heads…seven are white, while one is black. And only two of Buttigieg’s six executive staff members in South Bend are nonwhite...” Buttigieg’s former fire chief told TYT that when he asked Buttigieg why there was no Black or Hispanic leadership in his administration, the mayor said nothing at all.

7. He forced his Black fire chief into retirement to replace him with the white stepson of a Republican donor and fundraiser.

Jonathan Larsen, in an in-depth article for TYT (well worth reading), reports that the chief had just been named Indiana Fire Chief of the Year and had much more experience than his replacement.

Conclusion: Pete Buttigieg has clearly done some good things in his small city, but his record shows too many signs of indifference, at best, to people of color. What part of this record suggests he’s ready to run the country?

4. His advisors tell us who he is. Believe him.

There are a number of things to not like about Buttigieg’s team (his national policy director is a Google executive, for example, and a climate change advisor has taken fossil fuel money), but let’s just look at two key advisors.

Lis Smith, his senior campaign advisor for communications, is best known for helping a group of rogue New York state Democrats who caucused with Republicans to keep the GOP in power in Albany even though they had fewer seats. That betrayal blocked for years any hope of passing progressive legislation such as early voting, automatic voter registration, the Women’s Equality Act, and paid family leave. Smith is widely known as being a terrible person who attacked Hillary Clinton days after Clinton became the official nominee.

Mark Zuckerberg, who said he would “go to the mat” to fight Elizabeth Warren if she were elected, is a friend of Buttigieg and has advised him on campaign staff. Facebook, of course, has the power to help any candidate friendly to the interests of billionaires, just as they deviated from their policies to help Trump. Here’s Sarah Jones from a piece you really should read in full:

“On [Zuckerberg’s] watch, Facebook heedlessly spread right-wing hate speech around the world, lied about the reach of its video ads, and violated the privacy of its users while claiming publicly to protect them. Zuckerberg himself considered giving away user data to reward some corporate partners and Zuckerberg’s personal friends, as NBC News reported in 2018.

If Zuckerberg’s actions bother Buttigieg, he doesn’t show it. Instead, Zuckerberg and other corporate executives know they can count on the mayor’s selective concern for the public good.

Conclusion: Hiring is a reflection of character and worldview. There are doubtless many good people working on his campaign, but Pete Buttigieg has hired an unprincipled bulldog who has worked against the interests of Democratic voters, raising the question of whether he himself is more ambitious that principled. He’s being guided by Zuckerberg, one of the true enemies of American democracy. (He’s also backed by a strangely high number of members of the intelligence community.) This is not a man who is going to confront the runaway power of corporate America.

5. His donors and fundraisers are billionaires and bankers.

For a mayor with very little experience, Buttigieg is taking in huge amounts of cash from top executives at the world’s biggest companies, some of whom are literally buying special access to the candidate. His backers include:

  • 39 billionaires.
  • 94 bundlers who are each raising $25–250K or more from other wealthy Americans. David Moore writes, “Some are registered lobbyists, while others are “shadow” federal lobbyists...”
  • Members of his National Investors Circle, an aptly named group that offers those who raise $250K or more special access, “including quarterly briefings with Buttigieg, monthly briefings with senior campaign officials and access to ‘Speaker Series conversations’ and other events.”
  • Pete’s PAC, which Kevin Robillard reports was supposed to help other Democratic candidates but has instead used most of the funds for his own presidential campaign staff.
  • McKinsey friends. Four immigration rights groups have called on Buttigieg to return donations from McKinsey employees.
  • Two of Brett Kavanaugh’s lawyers, who co-hosted a fundraising event. The money has been returned, but the campaign has not explained how they could have not known of the work of their well-known event co-hosts.
  • Blackstone Group executive vice chairman Hamilton “Tony” James, a Buttigieg fundraiser who helps Mohammed bin Salman get even richer.
  • Dick Fuld, who helped take down Lehman Brothers and the economy.
  • Pharmaceutical executives, CommonDreams reports, “Such as the chief corporate affairs officer at drugmaker Pfizer, the president of Astex Pharmaceuticals, a state lobbyist for Biogen, a vice president of public policy at Novartis, and the deputy vice president at the nation’s largest pharmaceutical trade association, PhRMA….” (His campaign was at one point the only one to accept money from lobbyists.)
  • Bradley Tusk, “Silicon Valley’s favorite fixer,” who managed Bloomberg’s third campaign and lobbied against regulations on Uber.
  • William Rahm of Centerbridge Partners, which Congressional candidate Melissa Mark-Viverito callsa vulture fund that has shamelessly made a fortune off the backs of the people of Puerto Rico for years.”
  • Kissinger Associates vice-chairman and co-chief executive Joshua Ramo, who helps run the firm founded and run by war criminal Henry Kissinger.
  • Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix and a major proponent of charter schools, who hosted a fundraising event for Pete. Buttigieg has been “vague” on charter schools.
  • Camilo Barrera Acosta, an outspoken critic of teachers and teachers unions and one of Pete’s bundlers.
  • Steve Elmendorf, a lobbyist who works for organizations working to defeat Medicare for All, for the oil company BP, and many more.
  • And hundreds of other predatory capitalists.

Who gives to a candidate matters, of course. Some examples:

  1. Buttigieg was a supporter of Medicare for All as late as February, before he started taking Big Pharma and health care money and began attacking Warren and Sanders for supporting it.
  2. According to the New York Times, “Multiple financial bundlers told the campaign that the Supreme Court and Electoral College proposals were not popular, according to people familiar with the discussions. Mr. Buttigieg has since quietly dropped them from his stump speech.”
  3. Ben Mathis-Lilley of Slate writes that “He’s hired two staffers at Mark Zuckerberg’s recommendation and attacked Warren’s call for breaking up Facebook as premature.”

Buttigieg, who took lobbyist money when he first ran for mayor and gave city contracts to some of those donors, quietly stopped disclosing the names of his bundlers and fundraising event hosts after some bad press coverage. But after pressure from Elizabeth Warren and others, he reversed his stance and said he would release the names. But note that transparency is not his first move; it comes when he feels enough heat. And it’s problematic: Politico reports that the list of bundlers Buttigieg released recently was incomplete.

After Buttigieg was forced to allow the press into some of his events, it became clear why he resisted (and why his transparency has limits). In one week he had four fundraising events in the Bay Area that were attended by dozens of Silicon Valley billionaires, including the infamous #winecave event.

Image for post
Image for post

Buttigieg’s donors know that he’s selling access. Axios reports that one fundraiser, H.K. Park, wrote to prospects, “If you want to get on the campaign’s radar now before he is flooded with donations after winning Iowa and New Hampshire, you can use the link below for donations.”

Conclusion: Which donors from which major corporations would be in a Buttigieg cabinet? We have no idea. What is clear is that billionaires and hedge fund managers do not throw money at political newcomers without an assurance of a solid return on their investment. Pete Buttigieg wants to be seen as a new voice in politics, but we now know it’s possible to run a people-powered campaign and not be beholden to corporations. It’s frankly embarrassing that Pete Buttigieg is touting himself as something new. He’s just a young Joe Biden, running on pure ambition, taking the money, evolving his positions to please his donors, and using Republican talking points to attack progressive rivals.

6. He seems to have a blind spot on on race.

Buttigieg has admitted to not knowing about segregation in his community , but when he was running for mayor in 2011 he had very strong opinions on why black kids don’t succeed in school:

Michael Harriot, in his powerful piece in The Root, writes,

“This is not a misunderstanding. This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer and he — more than anyone on the goddamned planet — knows that everything he just said is a baldfaced lie.”

Buttigieg had an opportunity to step up for justice in 2014 when, after Eric Garner’s death and the Notre Dame women’s basketball team began wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts, a South Bend police officer began selling “Breathe Easy, Don’t Break the Law” shirts that seemed to mock Garner’s last words. Members of the South Bend city council asked the officer to stop selling the shirts, but Buttigieg remained neutral and even found a way to say that Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter are actually pretty similar.

Image for post
Image for post
Pete thought these shirts were okay.

And when he’s not being cowardly about race, he’s betraying a remarkable level of either ignorance or dishonesty about it, take your pick. Either way, he is completely wrong about the history of slavery in this country.

7. He has almost no support among black voters.

Perhaps because of this record, Buttigieg has polled poorly among black voters, and it’s not because of low name recognition. A January poll found that “Nearly 4 in 10 black voters say they would either not vote or vote for someone else if Buttigieg were the nominee.”

Buttigieg is polling at 0% among Black voters, according to the latest Quinnipiac poll.

He released his Douglass Plan for Black America in July, and the Washington Post reported that “Buttigieg persuaded hundreds of prominent black South Carolinians to sign onto the plan even if they are not supporting Buttigieg himself.” He then released an “open letter” listing a number of prominent black supporters, implying that they had endorsed his campaign. But The Intercept reported in November that many were unaware that their names were on the letter:

“The blowback came immediately. [Columbia City Councilwoman Tameika] Devine, who has not endorsed a candidate yet in the presidential election, told The Intercept that she did not intend her support for the plan to be read as an endorsement for Buttigieg’s candidacy, and believes the campaign was “intentionally vague” about the way it was presented….

[state Rep. Ivory] Thigpen, meanwhile, has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president, and was startled when he learned the campaign had not only attached his name to the plan, but also listed him as one of three prominent supporters atop the letter….“I actually had not circled back to give them a quote, so I was alarmed and very much surprised to see, particularly, the headline as such because I do think it muddies the water, I do think it was a misrepresentation, and it easily could have confused a lot of people as to where I stood.”

On December 4th, Buttigieg tried again to prove his bone fides on race by promoting what his campaign called a “special announcement” from black South Bend leaders. A protest broke out at the event, the mayor’s campaign tried to blame a “white” Sanders supporter, and BLM South Bend responded:

Image for post
Image for post

Black Lives Matter has also protested at his events, and it’s perhaps bad form for his white supporters to chant “USA!” instead of hearing their concerns:

Conclusion: Buttigieg talks about how he wants to bring the country together, but he has so far failed to bring his own small city together. His critics believe he has not done nearly enough, through his leadership and policies, to create racial justice, and BLM South Bend has gone so far as to call for his resignation. The Washington Post reports that even his “Friends and colleagues describe him as a man still forming a sensibility about African American issues and culture, a work-in-progress.” No Democrat can win if Black voters stay home. For the good of the country, he should continue his learning somewhere other than in the White House.

8. He’s wrong about free college (and he knows it).

Pete made news by running an ad criticizing Warren and Sanders for their tuition-free college plans because letting rich kids go to college for free would be a handout to millionaires and billionaires. It’s the same argument Hillary Clinton used, and it’s clearly wrong. Free college would not be a giveaway to the rich if it were paid for by higher taxes on the very rich.

Buttigieg is smart. He knows that it is easy to make a college program progressive and not a regressive tax on the poor. It’s simply good public policy for many reasons, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained.

But Pete knows all this. So what is he doing? Perhaps this explains it:

Image for post
Image for post

Conclusion: Buttigieg claims to be the new ideas guy, but while other candidates actually offer new ideas, he keeps drifting to the center and using the same talking points older centrists have been using for years to tell working class Americans why we can’t have better lives.

​8. He cynically flip-flopped on Medicare for All.

I’m old enough to remember back to 2018, when Buttigieg pledged to support Medicare for All (which is becoming more popular despite attack ads from both Biden and Buttigieg). Heck, just a few months ago he even called Medicare for All “a compromise!”

But New Pete is pushing Medicare for All Who Want It, using well-tested industry talking points about “choice” even though actual Medicare for All would cut taxes for most Americans, not raise them, as the Guardian reports:

Supporters of Medicare for All are right. Funding universal health insurance through taxes would lead to a large tax cut for the vast majority of workers. It would abolish the huge poll tax they currently shoulder, and the data show that for most workers, it would lead to the biggest take-home pay raise in a generation.

Dr. Donald Berwick, Obama’s Medicare chief, agrees, writing, “It has been so disappointing over the past several weeks to watch multiple candidates parrot right-wing attacks on Medicare for All.” Esther Wang writes:

Get it? By including “Medicare for All” in the name of his plan, despite it not being Medicare for All and maintaining a significant role for private insurance companies to keep raking in profits, he gets to claim that he supports the idea while working diligently to keep it from succeeding.

Maybe Buttigieg has just changed his mind. Or perhaps it is because, Sludge reports, “As of late September, Sludge found Buttigieg was second only to President Trump in campaign donors from the health care sector, taking in over 100 large donations from healthcare and pharmaceutical executives while transforming himself into a leading critic of Medicare for All.”

But Buttigieg is being called out. Helaine Olen wrote, in the Washington Post, “If your defense against Medicare-for-all is that you prefer our current system of a privatized, costly and highly inefficient jobs program that delivers inferior health-care outcomes, you should be up front about all that.”

Justice Democrats released a statement saying Buttigieg “has no credibility” to criticize Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for being “evasive” on Medicare for All “given how far his position has shifted over the past two years and how much money he’s been taking from Big Pharma and insurance executives.”

Some campaign donors, who believed him when he said earlier this year that he supported M4A and are outraged that he is now running ads against it, have asked to have their contributions refunded.

Conclusion: There’s a pattern here of evolving his positions to match what his wealthy donors want while confusing voters. This is not a generational talent. This is the same doublespeak we’ve been sold for two generations.

9. He is middle of the pack on climate change.

Buttigieg talks about how his young age motivates him to meet the challenge of climate change, but he has put forward a plan that received a grade of B from Greenpeace, which is lower than the grades they gave Sanders (A+), Warren (A-), Steyer (A-), Booker (A-), Castro (B+), and even Joe Biden (B+).

Buttigieg would not ban all fracking, which has become one of the greatest threats to a stable climate. Greenpeace writes:

[Buttigieg’s] plan relies on risky tax incentives for carbon capture technology that could perpetuate fossil fuel pollution. In addition, he has not committed to end exports of oil, coal, and liquified natural gas and hold polluters accountable for their contributions to the climate crisis. Mayor Buttigieg could do more to end the era of fossil fuels for good and ensure justice for communities too long left behind.

We see the same clever strategy on issue after issue:

  1. Buttigieg comes out in support of a plan, as he originally did for the Green New Deal offered by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey.
  2. He then puts out another plan, also called a Green New Deal (confusing voters), but one that is weaker and more favorable to his corporate donors.
  3. Next he criticizes the original plan because it “alienates” some people (presumably his bundlers).
  4. Then he makes the wild claim that he alone can somehow get the job done without getting stuck in partisanship. Rhetorically, it’s pretty slick.

Climate change is not going to be fixed by a president indebted to bankers. Buttigieg signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge but would still be beholden to corporate interests with heavy investments in fossil fuels. Many of his donors and fundraisers come from the companies that “have provided $1.9 trillion to fossil fuel companies since the adoption of the Paris climate accord at the end of 2015.” Blackstone, for example, whose leaders are fundraising for Buttigieg, has (among other things) significant holdings in the Dakota Access and the Bayou Bridge pipelines.

All of which helps explain why he’s doing so poorly among voters under 35:

Conclusion: We’re out of time. We need radical change, moral leadership, and a people-powered movement to fight the entrenched corporations who have their foot on the fossil fuel pedal as we go over the cliff. Pete Buttigieg provides none of these things. His plan is weak compared to his rivals, and he is simply too compromised by his decision to accept money raised by bankers.

10. His campaign shows us how he would govern.

I’m getting tired, but here are a few of the things we’ve seen during the campaign so far.

  • Black and Latino staff members have said that the campaign didn’t listen to their concerns, that Latino staff were asked to translate text even if they didn’t speak Spanish., and that “there was a daily ‘emotional weight’ on people of color who felt they were employed in order to help the campaign meet its ambitious diversity targets.”
  • The Spanish version of his website is mostly in English.
  • Buttigieg referred to the youth-led Sunrise Movement, which has endorsed Sanders, as a “dark money” operation. He, of course, wanted their endorsement.
  • His advisors come mostly from corporations that are leaders in predatory capitalism. One, for example, is an anti-trust lawyer for Wells Fargo.
  • He has dozens of problematic donors and fundraisers, including the head of a vulture fund profiting from Puerto Rico’s debt, a fact that complicates his efforts to appeal to Latino voters.
  • The Intercept reports that he used gig workers from Amazon Mechanical Turk, which pays pennies for some tasks, to conduct polls.
  • His campaign had to drop another controversial fundraising event host, this one a CEO whose firm made millions of dollars from ICE contracts.
  • He has flip-flopped on the issues, seemingly to align with the concerns of his donors.
  • He really took the mask off in Iowa, where he blocked release of the influential Des Moines Register poll, bizarrely declared victory before any votes were tallied, and then challenged the rules on satellite caucuses, which went overwhelmingly for Sanders because the Sanders campaign actually reached out to voters of color.

11. Why is he even in this race?

Pete Buttigieg is wildly unqualified. He’s a small-city mayor with a mixed record who has never served in state or federal government and has no foreign policy experience. He is polling at 0% among Black voters and in the single digits among people under 35.

He would not be in this race if he were a woman or a person of color. He would not have the backing of 39 billionaires if he were a threat to their business model.

He’s in the race because real democracy angers the Democratic establishment. Party leaders, desperate to stop Sanders and worried about Biden’s fitness, need a backup plan and are impressed by the smart, young candidate who believes that, in politics,“you say whatever you need to say to win.”

Most of what he’s saying is talk about uniting the country, criticism of progressives as divisive, and claims that he — who has failed to unify his small city — can somehow bring the country together. Drew Magary writes:

Pledging to sow unity is just a pledge to people that you will do nothing, that you are a bland centrist determined to paint widely approved progressive ideas like M4A as divisive in a brazen attempt to cultivate irrational hostility toward them. THAT is being divisive. That is what Big Pharma is paying Buttigieg to do.

Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others have shown that it’s possible to run strong campaigns without taking a dime of corporate money.

Pete Buttigieg has made his choices, but we don’t have to buy what he’s selling. We get to make a much better choice for ourselves and future generations.

This piece is built on the hard work of brilliant journalists. Please click through to read their work, support them, and thank them.

Written by

Writer, filmmaker, consultant to organizations working on climate change and justice issues.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store