What Did We See in Mayor Pete?
When Pete Buttigieg first showed up on the news, I was intrigued. For the first time, someone from my generation was running for president. Maybe older generations would finally stop infantizing Millennials if he ran.
Wouldn’t that be cool? Seeing someone from my generation in office. Someone that finally understood the struggles of the average millennial.
The more I saw him on TV, the more I thought, “Maybe this guy could win the election. That would be awesome.” And little by little, I found myself leaning more towards him.
Until I took a political quiz to see who I’d support more. Turns out, the only people I disagreed with more than Mayor Pete were Biden and Bloomberg.
Am I really so short-sighted that I wouldn’t think to look at how Mayor Pete viewed things? Yeah, probably, but I had to know if he was really was barely better than Biden and Bloomberg. Maybe I didn’t understand a question? He couldn’t be that bad.
First, College Debt
When I first heard about Mayor Pete’s college debt, I got excited. Finally! Someone that understands the student loan system is turning into a scam, making college unaffordable.
Except we didn’t agree.
I think college and trade school should be free. I talk about college more cause it’s significantly more expensive. However, we need both for people to find good-paying jobs.
There is more college debt than credit card debt in America, and it’s keeping people from being able to live the lives their parents lived. If college debt was canceled, people could use the money to better their lives.
Mayor Pete, however, didn’t agree. He didn’t believe in canceling college debt unless the student in debt was in a low-quality for-profit school. Instead, he wanted to create more public service opportunities to forgive student loans.
So if you have a lot of college debt, try to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. If you weren’t in college yet, you could’ve had free college if your family made under $100,000. And that sums up Buttigieg’s college debt plan.
Not terrible, but it’s not enough.
And then there’s South Bend
If you trusted Mayor Pete’s campaign, you’d believe he was working hard to make sure all of South Bend had opportunities. That he made strides in diversity and inclusion.
Except… Mayor Pete didn’t.
Mayor Pete fired a black Police Chief in 2012 for allegedly recording white senior officers’ phone calls. Daryl Boykins, the Police Chief, wanted to catch the officers saying racial slurs.
90% of the police in South Bend are white. In a city with a population that’s 27% black and 15% Latinx.
After the police shooting of Eric Logan, Mayor Pete met with Black Lives Matter.
“He seemed to have already taken a side. It did seem that he was prioritizing who he thought was important, and it didn’t seem to be black people.”
His lack of support from black voters was a factor for him dropping out of the race.
What about health care?
My view on health care is simple. Why the hell are we going bankrupt for medicine? I lived in another country for years, and I couldn’t get over how much cheaper health care was in that country.
We’re always hearing stories of people having to pick and choose which medications to take because of the price. How one person getting sick is immediate bankruptcy. It’s insane how expensive health care is.
America is the only developed country without universal health care. Why not change that?
Buttigieg’s idea for this was Medicare for All Who Want It. The idea was to give a choice to someone buying insurance. Do you want to use your employer’s coverage or buy into public option?
Thing is, I’m sure most people would end up on Medicare. When the ACA passed, most companies made their workers part time so they wouldn’t have to pay for their insurance.
The intention is there, but the reality wouldn’t work out the way Buttigieg thought it’d work.
And then that tape of him came out
The tape was the final straw for me. On Twitter, I saw a video of Obama’s and Buttigieg’s speeches side by side. The similarities, down to the way Mayor Pete used his voice, was eerily similar to Obama.
Buttigieg was accused of plagiarizing Obama’s speeches. Being in a profession that takes plagiarism seriously, I can’t support someone who’d think copying Obama would win him votes.
After the tape, he didn’t feel as authentic as I thought he’d feel. I found myself asking, “Why did I like this guy again?”
He had a lot of hiccups on his track record, but that doesn’t mean he was a bad guy. Most of his critics acknowledged he had a good heart and good intentions.
Maybe, if he started genuinely listening to his constituents instead of going through the motions, he could have a better chance for president in the future.
But for now, I’m glad Mayor Pete dropped out of the race. He has a lot of learning to do before I’d find him relatable.