A Level-headed Leader

It’s What America Desperately Needs, and Deserves

Pete Buttigieg Announces 2020 Campaign (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

The future of America will be determined by the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election, and I have chosen to share my political views, versus hiding behind my politics, because this represents a critical opportunity for Americans to move America forward. The current administration has put us backward by decades, on all levels, including human rights, scientific research, climate change, foreign policy, immigration, healthcare, and education.

At age 54 and having worked in the technology and healthcare sectors for over 30 years, I have experienced first-hand the effects of various presidencies. This is the first time I’ve felt compelled to “mix business and politics” and openly advocate for U.S. leadership.

Pete Buttigieg will be a president who truly represents all Americans with level-headed leadership, intelligence, and compassion, who strengthens and grows the economy, who fixes healthcare, who makes education more accessible, who fights climate change, and who offers steadfast support to the U.S. military, national security, and counter-terrorism efforts with American integrity and moral authority. America is the leader of the world, and Pete represents the best role model to protect and ensure the future of the United States of America.

What first drew me to Pete was his candor and straightforwardness. Pete is clear on his vision for America and it aligns with what most Americans want — maybe not the far right or far left — however, that’s a good thing. Pete is not a “one issue” candidate. He is not running his campaign on a single issue such as climate change, student debt relief, or healthcare for all. Pete realizes that the office of the presidency and policy change require an overall vision to be effective, and that each single issue will affect the other. This view from 10,000 feet enables Pete to take a long-term strategic approach, not just an “issue by issue” tactical approach, and not just for the next four or eight years, but decades beyond in order to maintain and safeguard the future of the United States of America.

The next thing that impressed me were his outstanding credentials. Pete Buttigieg is a U.S. Navy Vet/Lieutenant, Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, a Harvard grad, a Two-Term Mayor of South Bend, a Former Counter-terrorism Official, an Economic & Investing Expert, and he is Multilingual, which will certainly aid in foreign affairs. Pete serves on the boards of the Truman National Security Project and the United States Conference of Mayors. In 2015 he received the New Frontier Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Harvard University Institute of Politics.

In addition to his transparency and qualifications, one of his statements in particular resonated with me: “God does not have a political party.” I grew up in an Evangelical Congregational Church community and often heard deacons and parishioners alike claim things like “If you’re a Christian, you will vote for the Republican candidate (e.g. George W. Bush), who God chose to save our country from sin.” I felt isolated and upset as I favored the democratic candidate. I did not believe then that Republicans “own God” just as I do not believe that now. I agree with Pete that God is a loving God and I remember in scripture how Jesus helped the poor, the outcasts — he did not judge people, but led with love. My church also ousted our pastor because he married a gay couple. Which brings me to my next point.

Pete Buttigieg is openly gay and married to a school teacher, and not only is he not hiding it, he is not making an issue of it. What I mean by this is that he is not running on the LGBTQ ticket. Pete believes all people should be treated fairly and equally, regardless of age, race, religion, disability, gender, or orientation. Pete is low drama, high integrity. He knows that whether you love someone of the same or opposite sex, it is a nonissue. It only becomes an issue when a president or group excludes or discriminates against a minority such as LGBTQ. Banning trans people from serving in the military or taking away their healthcare rights is horrific and morally wrong. I thank everyone who serves in the military to protect the United States, whether gay, trans or straight, black or white, Jewish, Muslim or Christian.

Finally, as America braces for its oldest population in United States history, and generations of Millennials and Gen Z’ers are rising to become more involved in human rights and politics, what kind of America do we want to leave our children and grandchildren? And what kind of America do we want for our older adults? A country full of hate and division? A country that discriminates against its own citizens? The United States is undergoing a societal change, spurred by technological innovation that connects us to each other, and to the world, as never before. We need a leader who can respect and learn from history, but who can move us ahead to secure a better future.

Heidi Creighton is president of a Boston-based healthcare communications firm. She holds a B.A. in Expository Writing and Journalism from the University of Southern Maine and serves on the board of directors of several healthcare and education councils.