Saturday, November 2, 2019

Let's talk about Pete, baby

Baby, can you dig your man?
He's a righteous man

~~ Larry Underwood in The Stand

There's a lot going on in our little corner of the universe, and I'll talk about that eventually. But right now, I want to talk (again) about Mayor Pete Buttigieg. 

I've written about him before (here and here), but it's been a while. The last time I wrote about him was when he had formed an exploratory committee about running for president. My goodness, things have certainly changed since then! 

I have always felt that as soon as people started hearing him speak and hearing what he had to say, they would like him. That is exactly what has happened. He has a calming presence that is so needed to counter the current occupant of the White House, and I think that is resonating with people. It is no surprise to me that the people in Iowa are really starting to dig our man. I have always considered myself a "pragmatic progressive," or you could also go with "progressive pragmatist." It's a midwestern thing. We see the ideal goals but we know that people are resistant to seismic changes, and sometimes the best way to get shit done is to nudge people along rather than push them off the cliff. 

We saw it with the Affordable Care Act. Would a public option have been ideal? Yes. But we couldn't get it done. Ten years later, the ACA is still the law, and premiums are starting to go down. Most importantly, people have finally come to the realization that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. And want to keep the ACA, despite the continued efforts of the Republicans to gut the law or negate it entirely. Good luck with that! A public option (Medicare For All Who Want It) is exactly what Pete is proposing and it seems to be a reasonable way to get us to Medicare For All. 

Anyway, I am a product of my midwestern upbringing, and so is Mayor Pete. That's why he appealed to me from the beginning, and I believe that is why he is appealing to so many across the country. It's not just the pragmatic part, either. There is a positivity to him that is also needed to counteract against the extreme negativity of the current resident. I feel it in my bones that people need that and need to feel a sense of optimism and inclusion rather than being scared to death of the entire world, including anyone who is a little different from them. 

And how refreshing is it to hear someone who can put together a logical, intelligent sentence? I never realized how much I craved lucidity until I had to hear Individual-1 speak. Good grief, is it too much to ask to have the leader of the free world NOT sound like a moron? We need to raise that bar again.

So here we are, about 100 days out from the Iowa caucus. I was pretty thrilled several months ago when Pete polled at 11% in an Iowa poll. Now it is looking very possible that he could actually—dare I say it?—WIN IOWA. This is astounding, exciting, and almost overwhelming. I am just so thrilled that others are hearing his message and are feeling the same inspiration that it has been my pleasure to feel for the past eight years. 

I don't know what will happen. But I am definitely feeling a sense of hope and change that I haven't felt for a while. Like for about 11 years.