In the end, Buttigieg takes heat from all sides: he’s not gay enough (whatever that means); or he’s too gay (whatever that means); he’s too centrist; too neoliberal; too wonky; too white.
But here’s the rub: For more than two years, Donald Trump and his minions have undermined America’s national security; rewarded mega-polluters, predatory lenders, and other corporate thugs; emboldened white supremacists and home-grown terrorists; and demonized the weakest among us. Any 2020 Democratic contender — Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, even addled, handsy Joe Biden — would make for a more competent, more legitimate leader.
With all that in mind, I’m sticking with the candidate whose positions on healthcare, climate change, racial justice, reproductive rights, income inequality, and gun control jibe most closely with mine; the candidate who refrains from shouting and finger-pointing whenever he appears in public; one whose humor is perfectly gauged to skewer fringe-right demagogues and frauds; one who has acted and sounded presidential at every turn, ever since he decided to run.
Pete Buttigieg is mired in single digits in most polls, but from the start he has sparked an uncanny, long-dormant sensation in Americans across the political divide.
I believe it’s called optimism. And in light of where we are right now, as a nation and a planet, by god I’ll take it.