Home Election 2020 OPINION: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the future of the Democratic Party?

OPINION: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the future of the Democratic Party?

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Opinion writer Maddie Kramer argues Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s meteoric rise in the Democratic presidential primary reflects his status as the future of the Democratic Party.

Although it is only April, there are already 18 Democrats running for president. Some of these candidates are well-known, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. However, there are some new upstart candidates in the mix as well. One of these is Pete Buttigieg. The young mayor of South Bend, Indiana with the strange last name (pronounced boot-edge-edge) may represent the future of the Democratic party.

Known as “Mayor Pete” in South Bend, Buttigieg is a 37-year-old gay Navy veteran. He served in Afghanistan for 7 months, earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Currently in his eighth year as mayor, he’s now looking towards higher office. In 2016, Buttigieg attempted to run for chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Now aiming for the highest elected office, Buttigieg could be the youngest president in American history.

Healthcare, immigration, social issues, and environmental issues are among the policy points that Buttigieg is passionate about. He supports a single payer healthcare system, and has a plan on how to transition from the current system to a single payer system.

Like many other Democrats, Buttigieg supports the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and opposes the Trump administration’s deployment of troops to the southern border. Buttigeig gives an important perspective to this situation, as he himself is a veteran. He feels that troops should only be deployed “if all other modes democracy fails.”

Regarding social issues, an important part of Buttigieg’s platform is the Federal Equality Act, which, if passed, would extend civil rights and non-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community. He condemns the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, calling it “extremely disturbing.” Buttigieg also supports the idea of people receiving gender reassignment surgery while in prison, stating it is part of standard healthcare that inmates have access to.

Buttigieg has enforced the idea that climate change is a long-term national security threat, emphasizing the impact climate change will have on future generations. After President Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, Pete joined 407 other mayors across America in signing a pact to uphold the agreement. He supports the Green New Deal and is progressive on clean energy initiatives, including subsidizing solar panels.

Pete has gone from a small town mayor to political upstart, being praised by former President Obama as a Democrat who represented the future of the party. Buttigieg has garnered a lot of support from younger voters who are looking for a change in national politics.

Alex Jackson, a senior journalism student at Ohio University, has been a supporter of Buttigieg from the beginning of the campaign. “As a college student, I’m used to people telling me I’m too young for this or not experienced enough for that,” Jackson said when asked why he supports Buttigieg. “Watching Mayor Pete attempt to defy these standards as a young person is refreshing and inspiring.”

While he may have been underestimated in the beginning, Mayor Pete has gained enough donations to qualify for the first primary debate this summer, alongside the other big name candidates.

It may still be early in the campaign season, but many people are already excited about the prospects of the youngest and first openly gay president.

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