If you want gargantuan government ladled out in loving cups of warm milk, Mayor Pete is your man. Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, IN, now touts himself as the only major opponent to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) remaining in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field. A town hall on Nov. 3 in Charles City, IA, aptly captured the meaninglessness of his claim to be a kind of middle-of-the-road New Democrat.
Primary town halls are certainly not the place to find cold, sober political analysis. They’re by nature glib, casual, and meant to put a positive face on a candidate. That said, you do have to include some substance in your jovial spiel, something that carves out a unique direction to voters. Perfectly in keeping with every other aspirant (Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii on foreign policy being an exception) in this lackluster Dem cluster, Buttigieg shows a remarkable inability to distinguish himself from settled blue talking points. Despite friendly big-box media assertions to the contrary, his homespun delivery and his Midwestern “gee-shucks I’m gay” persona are not identifying markers of a change agenda.
Yet this is what Buttigieg served up by the barrel in Charles City. Squeaky-clean platitudes led again and again into boilerplate big-government Democrat positions that do nothing to challenge the party’s reigning political orthodoxy. This at a time when Dems have shown a complete inability to reach out on a national level to mainstream American citizens clamoring to take their government back from disconnected Swamp elites.
“I am running to be the president who can … pick up the pieces, standing in the rubble of our national life, and move us forward,” Buttigieg’s town hall began. “And the way to do that, I am convinced, is to invite as many people as possible into this Majority for Change to get something done.”
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds a meet and greet in Charles City, Iowa.
Posted by Fox News on Sunday, November 3, 2019
Any attempt to truly propound a unity agenda is then blown to pieces as the mayor continued, ticking off one federal goliath policy plank after another.
“There is a strong majority right now, for example, to undertake the biggest improvement in American health care in more than 50 years,” Buttigieg said, apparently striving to outdo Obamacare in federal overreach. “Which is what we will do by delivering Medicare for all who want it in the United States of America.”
Yep, that might just do it. Buttigieg then segued into respecting the flag, using cozy language to promote the progressive diversity-speak so often used to advocate massive immigration into the United States.
“The whole idea of the flag is that it belongs to all of us,” Buttigieg said. “And the way we honor it is not to hug it, literally. And certainly never to use it or use patriotism as a weapon to tell some people they don’t belong.”
The flag also means protecting Americans, Buttigieg explained. And the way you do that is through more U.S. military intervention abroad.
“Protecting our country means protecting each other,” he said. “It is about protecting people. And that has a lot of implications overseas. For example, protecting our country means seeing to it that our allies never again question whether it was a good idea to bet their lives on the credibility of the United States. We will keep our promises when I am the Commander in Chief of this nation.”
And then another seamless pivot: “But also, let’s make sure that when we protect this country that means protecting each other right here at home too.”
Congratulations if you already know where this is heading. Yes, the protection represented by the red, white, and blue means cracking down on Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear guns. Buttigieg called for strong background checks and red flag laws, all wrapped up in what the flag means to him.
After he was done expounding on these measures, he pushed standard progressive nattering about climate change as “the security threat of our time.”
Amid all this congenial phrasing, Buttigieg perhaps inadvertently managed to let the overriding logic behind his beliefs slip through. “That’s why we invented government as a species. It was actually to make us more free,” he declared.
There you have it. If you truly believe those words, then all the rest naturally follows. You do not need citizens to own guns, because that does not make a people free. Government does. You want more military intervention abroad, because it is government that liberates people across the globe. Many things can be said of such a poisonous attitude, but the most important one for 2020 is simply this: It is disastrously out of touch with the grassroots clamor in this nation today for a government accountable to the people, and not vice versa.
Big Government Buttigieg wasn’t finished. “The need to sail into some of the toughest problems we’ve got, but also to do it in a way that extends belonging and inclusion in this country,” the mayor contemplated later in the town hall. “It’s why we need to tackle systemic racism with a sense of urgency.”
“Systemic racism,” according to modern progressive lingo, means the entire nation is inherently imbued with the Founding Fathers’ birthmark of racial discrimination. Change must be made in all aspects of society, including education, health, the judicial system, voting rights, and, yes, of course, immigration.
Buttigieg’s most warped statement came when he asserted that illegal alien children should be “compensated” for being detained at our southern border. “Can you imagine if you’ve been taken away from your parents and didn’t know where they are?” he plaintively asked his audience. “The United States owes something to the kids in that situation. First of all, of course, to swiftly reunite them with their families. But we probably owe them a little more than that given what we’ve done. In fact, we definitely owe them more than that. And that’s why we need to make sure that they have compensation and that we do things to try to make it right.”
“We all have a stake. We all do better when all do better,” Platitude Pete told Iowans. “On issue after issue we have a chance to make big meaningful change.” Beyond the honeyed verbiage, the only word to take away from Buttigieg’s dull and predictable progressive policy vision is big.