Heller: Why Pete Buttigieg should be the Democratic nominee for 2020

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Editor’s Note:

An earlier version of this story stated that Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay person to run for President of the United States. A letter to the editor informed that Fred Krager ran in the 2012 Republican primaries, and was also openly gay.

This summer has surely been heating up in regards to the 2020 race for President, and the Democratic Primary is no exception.

Over the past six months, nearly 20 candidates threw their hats into the ring with all of them believing they can defeat Donald Trump in 2020. It almost seems as if this primary season is business as usual with many of the big name candidates, such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden, engulfing much of the air time that lower level individuals, such as John Delaney, Tim Ryan, Marianne Williamson and Jay Inslee desperately feel they need. 

Yet throughout this clutter of contestants of “Who Wants to be Blamed for Everything,” one individual certainly stands out: an individual who not only has a plan for us in the future, but also confident enough to see it through, an individual who served their country while also representing its future. To me, Pete Buttigieg is clearly the best candidate out there and I feel he should be the nominee to face off against Donald Trump come 2020.

Out of the many leading tid-bits about him, Buttigieg’s age is clearly one of the most deciding factors in the primary. In a race that’s filled with more old white men than a nursing room, Buttigieg’s age is a breath of fresh air in a party that’s largely been controlled by old, white individuals for the better part of 40 years.

Though he is indeed among the many white candidates on stage, being one of the first openly gay individuals to run for President of the United States not only singles him out in the crowd, but also examplifies the changing tide both within the party and the country. 

Furthermore, since 1960 the average age of a Democrat winning their first term as president was 49, compared to the average age of a Republican winning their first term at 62. If the Democrats are smart and understand their history, it’s likely that once Buttigieg becomes the nominee, his chances of winning the presidency would be sharply higher than Trump’s.

In regards to any strategies that many of the candidates hope to accomplish as president, Buttigieg probably has a better plan for the country’s future. Though a few candidate’s approach when tackling the issues might seem popular among many people across the country, Buttigieg has a more pragmatic look on some of these problems compared to candidates such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and even Joe Biden.

His approach in tackling the student debt crisis in America won me over immediately. His plan entails providing free two year community college to anyone willing to get into a trade, while also expanding grant programs for lower income students looking to go into college. He also plans on allowing graduates the option to refinance their loans if payments become difficult.

“If you’re able to refinance your home or car, you should be able to do the same to your student loans,” Buttigeig said during the June debates. “We also need to make it affordable to not go to college so that people with just a high school education can prosper in our economy.”

Buttigieg’s moderate and pragmatic policy approach could largely win over moderate swing voters who are looking for change, but nothing too crazy or mainstream that usually encompasses the likes of Sanders and Biden.

Even if Buttigeig doesn’t get the presidential nomination, he’s still a brilliant choice for vice president. Assuming some of the older candidates such as Biden or Sanders win both the nomination and the 2020 election, they’ll become one of the oldest to be presidents to ever be elected. 

With the presidency being one of the most stressful jobs in the world, an older candidate faces much more scrutiny on who they’ll pick as vice president. Many voters would feel uneasy about electing candidates, such as Biden, due to their age. Selecting Buttigeig could ease some concerns many voters might have when electing an aging candidate on the ballot.

Buttigeig could also serve as a counterweight to another Indiana native, Vice President Mike Pence. Both Buttigeig and Pence largely proceve themselves as the Evangelical spokesmen of their parties. With Pence’s selection as VP mostly carrying the Evangelical vote in 2016, Buttigeig could possibly split the Evangelical vote in 2020 and gain new voters in the process.

With the third Democratic debate now encompassing the leading contenders, Buttigeig has a chance to shine even brighter in the months to come and gain even more supporters to his side. Even if he doesn’t win, Mayor Pete’s presence in the 2020 race is a welcoming sight for those who are on the more moderate political spectrum and are also looking for change, such as myself.

Here’s hoping he becomes a larger figure in the years to come.  

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