Buttigieg Ends His Historic White House Bid

And finally…

2 Comments for “Buttigieg Ends His Historic White House Bid”

  1. posted by Jorge on

    Given the “fault lines”, I’m mostly just relieved the first gay whatever he was proved no more subversive than Barack Obama. Well, actually, I’m immediately thinking of Obama’s racially unifying speeches on Jeremiah Wright. Buttigieg didn’t have a Sister Souljiah moment, he was just Bill Clinton.

    Being one of the more moderate candidates, the only policy dealbreaker for me was his position on abortion, and that was probably forced on him. I consider his messaging on the importance of reversing unjust policies with the least overall harm to be a worthwhile one.

    What I cannot abide is the shallowness of his character and the cheapness of how he characterizes people he disagrees with, and that is a difference I have with far more of the gay+ rights and political movements than that represented in Buttigieg’s LGBT opposition. Buttigieg does not approach these differences with either humility or sincerity. That is why he could not improve on his African American support despite his outreach in South Carolina (such as it was), and that is also why he seemed to have little inspiring to say in response to his LGBT opposition. His most authentic moment, “I’d be her president, too”, came in response to an anti-gay Iowa voter, which if anything reveals he has a very small comfort zone for glad-handling opposition.

    That he was smart enough to leave this early suggests to me that he has the insight to possibly overcome these issues in a future year. We shall see.

  2. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    While I supported Mayor Buttigieg, financially with monthly donations and otherwise, I never thought he would be the nominee because his campaign had structural problems that were almost certainly insurmountable.

    But I’m glad he ran, and not because he was gay. Mayor Buttigieg is intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, rational, and a center-left moderate. He clearly thinks in paragraphs and speaks in complete sentences, and was steady and consistent in his policy positions during the campaign. In short, Mayor Buttigieg was the antithesis of President Trump.

    What impressed me is that he neither ran as “the gay candidate” nor ran away from being gay. He ran as himself, clearly comfortable in his own skin, and the support base that be put together (about a million active supporters) spanned the age demographic. He was a serious candidate, and his support base — as well as the rest of the Democratic base — took him seriously.

    All of this infuriated conservatives like Rush Limbaugh, an intellectual giant of Trump conservatism and recognized as such by being the only American ever honored by receiving the Medal of Freedom during a State of the Union address.

    That’s not surprising. The Republican base is solidly anti-equality and will remain so for the immediate future. But Democrats took Mayor Buttigieg on his own terms, his sexual orientation and comfort with his sexual orientation included. That was also not surprising, given the amount of work left/liberal gays put into the Democratic Party over the last thirty-odd years.

    I think that Mayor Buttigieg’s candidacy was “historic” not because he is gay, but because the fact that he is gay did not define him or his campaign, in the sense that Fred Karger ran (and was treated as) a “gay novelty” candidate. The “gay novelty” candidate days are over in the Democratic Party and will, someday, be over in the Republican Party as well.

    I think that speaks well for both the progress we’ve made over the course of my generation (I reached adulthood pre-Stonewall) and for the future. I will not live to see it, but the day will come when a gay kid in high school is just another jackass high school kid, with his brain a mixture of testosterone and cotton candy, no different from the rest of the herd. That’s the future I have worked for all my adult life, and I think that Mayor Buttigieg’s candidacy was another step in that direction.

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