How “Barnstormers for Pete” Turned a Simple Idea Into a Movement

How do you save an endangered democracy? You take the seed of a simple idea, plant it in a Facebook group populated by good folks ready to roll up their sleeves, feed it with passion and love of a nation, and watch it burst into bloom…instantly becoming a beautiful, powerful, “We can do this!” kind of revolutionary movement.

This is precisely what happened when supporters of 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg recognized early on in his candidacy that his was the vision that could indeed rescue American democracy — threatened with extinction under the scourge of an aspiring dictator. In recent Pete-focused Facebook group conversations, friends within “Marathon States” (i.e., late primary voting states) had an idea: Take action to travel to “Early States” (i.e., Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada) to boost the local support of Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

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How many “Pete people” could they attract to join them? 25? 75? 100? More? Just a few weeks ago, this small group began to pool their substantial organizing skills. They gave themselves a name, “Barnstormers for Pete: We Can’t Wait for Our State”; created a logo identity; and began a social media campaign to gather as many travelers as they could to join the journey to Iowa on November 1, 2019 for the national road trip to attend the Democratic Fall 2019 Dinner in Des Moines. The Iowa Democratic Party has rented Wells Fargo Arena — the largest venue in Des Moines — for their 2019 Liberty and Justice Celebration. It is an internationally publicized event to give Democrats a chance to highlight the party’s strength heading into the 2020 election. It was at this same dinner in 2007 when then Senator Obama gave an electrifying speech, and energized his campaign all the way to the White House. Barnstormers for Pete envision that very same scenario for Pete, who connects to audiences —person-to-person — with honesty, knowledge, zeal and heart.

Organized under #BeLikePete pillars — including kindness, inclusivity, and fun — the Barnstormers for Pete invited Peteniks from throughout the country to join them. They welcomed Pete supporters to become a part of a quintessential democratic movement to bolster the ground game for Pete while he’s on the campaign trail.

As of this writing, the group traveling to Iowa is over 1,000 strong — representing all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico —and still growing. They are packing their bags and getting ready to demonstrate to the country why Pete is the most formidable candidate to dethrone Donald Trump in 2020. Barnstormers say that they hope to reach Iowa’s voters with a clear message about why the country deserves a brilliant collaborator, a convener, a visionary, and a humanitarian to become their President.

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The group’s website, BarnstormersforPete.com, provides more information on how to become involved. Pete is fighting hard and Barnstormers for Pete believes that he deserves to have people who will fight as hard as he is to reclaim our democracy. Over 1,000 have already joined the fight and are traveling to Iowa…all because a few people on Facebook a few weeks ago recognized that this was indeed the fight of all our lives. #RollUpYourSleeves

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