Are there personal traits that someone might have that can bring us, Americans, closer? For some stupid reason we have as a nation behaved like rivals. Our public discourse has been coarsening and it has lowered the threshold for acting out, being rude, being unkind. Is that who we are deep inside or are we more evolved, or are we both? We can choose by deciding which one we feed. If it only takes a bully pulpit for someone to expose us for who we really are, then we need to be very careful who we give the bully pulpit.
We have become gullible. If we identify as red then we more easily believe the negative we hear and read about the blue and the positive about the red. The blue have the same gullibility.
We have become all or nothing politically and while The United States of America is the world’s most dominant economic and military power with the best hospitals and universities, and with its cultural imprint spanning the world, led in large part by its popular culture expressed in music, movies and television, other countries are happier and healthier.
Ranking of the Top 10 Countries in the World, Best Countries Report, U.S. News & World Report based on being seen as a stable and safe society in which individuals can develop and prosper, and is open, fair and equitable:
1. Canada 2. Japan 3. Germany 4. Switzerland 5. Australia 6. United States 7. New Zealand 8. United Kingdom 9. Sweden 10. Netherlands
So, who is going to bring us together and stop the petty bickering that ignores so much that we have in common and want? Let’s look at traits.
I try to keep this site, HelloFred.com, informational and not opinionated. But with this post I wanted to try my hand for making a case for Pete Buttigieg for President.
Let’s start with a question. When do we turn leadership of this country over to a younger generation? Biden would be 78, Sanders would be 79, and Bloomberg would be 78 when they would take office in 2021. They would be 82, 83, and 82 respectively when they started their second terms. Warren 71/75 and Klobuchar 60/64 have yet to be competitive.
China seems to always have leaders that match those ages and typically Republicans have older candidates leading their ticket. Democrats tend to elect younger presidents with the last five Democratic presidents being 47, 46, 52, 55, and 43.
Only three presidents have been over 65 when taking office. One died shortly after taking office, one finished their second term with Alzheimer’s, and the other was Trump.
Buttigieg was told by a caller at a Town Hall that they didn’t want a President less than 40 years of age. Well, Buttigieg would be in his forties for 7 of his 8 years as President.
Its no secret that black voters have reason to mistrust white politicians especially in the southern states for they have so often made life more difficult for black people. So when Buttigieg fired his black Police Chief for alleged illegal wiretapping and one of South Bend’s police officers shot and killed a black person, there was reason to be hesitant about supporting Buttigieg.
South Bend was deteriorating and it had problems when Buttigieg was elected Mayor at age 29. Buttigieg left South Bend a better place eight years later. He was a manager. Firing the Police Chief might not have been in Buttigieg’s political interest or the right decision but the decision did not give a window into his soul proving him to be racist either.
Buttigieg has shown in the debates that he keeps his cool and can say what he wants to say with ease and without yelling. That should carry over to the Situation Room where he would listen and allow knowledgeable people to speak candidly. Decisions would come out of the Situation Room that reflected what the team of experts had weighed in on and not what one person decided to do based on tendencies and habits and ego.
Buttigieg would be able to coherently tell us the facts and keep us informed. In 2016 Americans were forced to select from two people that fairly or not were not liked by way too many people. Buttigieg is likeable.
I like that he is very smart and studied history instead of law. I like that he distinguished himself academically. I like that he can communicate in several languages. I like that he can play the piano, harmonica, guitar, and didgeridoo. I like that he served in the military and was in a war zone. I like that he was a mayor instead of a Senator.
I like that Buttigieg is a little left of center and not far left of center. Why? I say I like left because I believe that the left side is people oriented and the right side is business oriented; and the farther one goes left or right the more extreme the differences.
Being pro-business does not mean people support greed and being pro-people does not mean people do not want businesses to be very successful. Being pro-business doesn’t mean someone is materialistic. Being pro-people doesn’t mean someone is more spiritual. We need balance. Extreme pro business that ignores people leads to greed, lack of inner and outer peace, and war. Extreme pro people without material development leads joblessness.
Honesty is in our nature, and it is one of our greatest means of restoring faith in our democracy among everyday Americans and building a national movement rooted in trust and faith in our country and our beliefs. Internally and externally, our effort will be characterized by fidelity to the truth.
My faith teaches that the world is not divided into good people and bad people; [it teaches] that all of us are capable of good and bad things. Today, more than ever, politics matters, because leaders can call out either what is best in us or what is worst in us, can draw us either to our better or to our worst selves. Politics at its worst is ugly, but at its best politics can lift us up. It is not just policy making; it is moral. It is soul craft.
While Americans have moved from state to state, job to job, young to old; there has been a political battle for control of the direction America takes. The direction is dependent on how we incorporate into our voting these words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth and shall have a new birth of freedom.
Does America move in the direction where we become a nation where all people are equal before the law and have unrestricted participation in self-governance?
Or, does America move in the direction where a only some us enjoy the full blessings of liberty; where only some of us can decide on who is granted privilege and who is capable of self-governance?
Lincoln and Washington have clearly told us their preference.
Update: Buttigieg has suspended his bid for the Presidency and endorsed Biden. Maybe this post should be changed to the case for Buttigieg for Vice President. Biden needs to bring new and younger faces into his administration and give them opportunities to evolve and take us into the future. He has already said that Buttigieg reminds him of his son Beau. But Biden promised to run with a female vice president so maybe Secretary of State for Pete.
This interview with Katie Curic reminds us of Pete’s capabilities.