Meet Mayor Pete — America’s first gay Presidential Candidate
by Brian Moniz
The upcoming 2020 election is looking more and more like the Hunger Games each day, with more participants entering a race that is inevitably going to get ugly and will only have one winner. Even if you’re not into politics, you cannot escape hearing household names like Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, but there is one fresh nominee who is gaining a tremendous amount of momentum not only from within the LGBTQ community, but from millennials in general, and that is newcomer Peter Buttigieg.
At only thirty-seven years old, “Mayor Pete” already has a full, and very impressive resume. He graduated from Harvard, is a Rhodes Scholar, won the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award — an award given to outstanding individuals under the age of 40 who produce tangible positive results for the people in their communities — and is a member of the Navy Reserve. Two years into his first term as mayor, Buttigieg was deployed to Afghanistan and served for seven months. President Barack Obama publicly spoke about Mayor Pete and said that he, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, is the future of the Democratic Party of America.
So far, the major policies Peter Buttigieg has made his focus are: Climate Change/Environment, Trade/Economy, Capitalism reform, Healthcare, Immigration, and Guns.
Mayor Pete has called Climate Change a national security threat and he is a very strong supporter of the Paris Climate accord. Like every other Democratic Nominee, Buttigieg will get us back in the Paris Climate accord and lock us in for life after Trump irrationally withdrew the U.S. from it. He supports the New Green Deal (despite criticizing some aspects of it), wants to subsidize solar panels, and has condemned Republicans who vote against climate change that they only do it because they are protecting oil companies, are being bribed by them, and will be long gone by the time future generations have to suffer the consequences.
Buttigieg has said that Democrats in power are out of touch with voters in “fly-over” states throughout the Midwest and need to reach out to them more and let them know the Democratic Party cares about them and their jobs, too. He thinks that NAFTA cost many people in the Midwest their jobs in the industrial fields and supports more unions to protect citizens from having their jobs replaced by companies overseas.
While Capitalism is wildly unpopular among Democrats and millennial voters, Mayor Pete supports the idea of Capitalism, but says there needs to be a strong rule-of-law around it. If it is reasonably controlled, he believes Capitalism is good for businesses and the economy.
When it comes to the issue of Healthcare, Mayor Pete has said he does support a single-payer system, but he prefers to implement an all-payer healthcare system instead. A single-payer system says that we all have one healthcare provider under the government and therefore everything is the same price. What all-payer does is allows multiple healthcare companies to exist, but they all set their premiums and services to the same price, so instead of everyone belonging to Blue Cross, we can choose to receive care from Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, Humana, etc. but they will all have their medicines, surgeries, doctor’s visits and more all set at the same prices, giving us the freedom to choose who we want while taking away the worry about paying more than a different healthcare provider. Buttigieg has faced criticism that both single-payer and all-payer systems may drive down quality of care because hospitals would make less money, therefore resulting in less funding for experimental procedures and the production and testing of new medications. He will have to explain his argument in the primaries if he hopes to attract swing voters who get nervous when they hear the words “single-payer”.
Buttigieg believes that all undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children should have a clear and uncomplicated path to citizenship. He strongly opposes the Trump administration’s immigration policies and the act of separating children from their families at the border; and has said that abusing Presidential power to send American troops to the border is a “waste of their time” and that troops are supposed to only be used in extreme cases after all diplomatic strategies have failed. He has publicly criticized President Trump, saying troops were only sent to the border to further exaggerate Trump’s own made-up “crisis” to gain support for his wall.
As a prominent member of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”, Buttigieg is a strong advocate for better gun-control at the state and federal level. He opposes having guns in schools, wants certain military-style guns banned altogether, thinks that “Stand Your Ground” laws are foolish and dangerous, and fights for universal background checks with stricter limitations on who can purchase a gun.
There are many more policies that Mayor Pete will be fighting for and defending, but the ones listed above are the big ones that he knows Americans are most concerned about. If he wins the Democratic Nomination/Presidency, he would be the youngest person ever to do so, would be the first millennial to do so, and would be the first openly gay American to hold those honors.
Whether or not you are rooting for him to win, Mayor Pete has quickly risen from an underdog to a serious contender, with his popularity growing every day. He does have a lot of serious competition, but if our last two Presidents have proven us anything, it is that America loves a fresh, new outsider. Obama and Trump reinforce that just because you are not as experienced as a Clinton, Sanders, McCain or a Bush does not mean you have no chance. That is up for you, the voters, to decide.
About the Author:
Brian Moniz is a 29-year-old man from San Jose, Calif. He studied filmmaking and writing at San Jose State University from 2010–2013 and got his bachelor’s degree in Radio-TV-Film. Throughout his high school and college years, he worked as a music and movie journalist and critic. Having only recently come out of the closet himself in 2014, Brian enjoys writing about LGBTQ issues. His only regret when it comes to his sexuality is that he didn’t come out sooner.