I Thought I Was a “Liberal”—But Now I Realize I’m Actually a “Buttigist.”

In a recent Washington Post article, the writer posited that Pete Buttigieg would be a good alternative to Joe Biden as a center-left candidate…should Biden’s candidacy falter. First of all, I do not believe that Buttigieg is an alternative to anyone. He is far and away the top choice for becoming our next president — for a thousand right reasons. But putting that aside for a moment, I would argue one other point: Pete is “unclassifiable” along the established political spectrum. Perhaps if pressed to pick a point along that long-accepted gauge, “center-left” might be just fine. But it’s not really accurate. Neither is “progressive”, “liberal”, “independent”, “reformer”, or “leftist”. While it is true that he may be a bit of each…it is also true that he espouses some tenets of more moderate political philosophies.

I find it so freeing as a voter that my much preferred Democratic candidate among the Presidential contenders is redefining the ideological descriptors of American political persuasion. Pete’s political ideology, therefore, can only be described as his and his alone. Let’s call it “Buttigistism”. Here’s what I believe it means:

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A Buttigist like Pete is anyone who is part of a citizen-focused, mostly apolitical, values-based American electorate that believes in the unifying power of diverse voices from across the ideological spectrum. Buttigists endeavor to generate national policies and ideas that amplify quality of life — with an emphasis on preserving and lifting the lives of the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized populations.

The Buttigist electorate embraces the humanitarian-inspired guiding principles of freedom, security and democracy to inform the development of every policy platform it conceives. All published plans provide wholly inclusive pathways for financially practicable access to healthcare, higher education, and entrepreneurship for all. Justice, equality, righteousness and human compassion are the prisms through which policies on criminal justice reform, systemic racism, LGBTQ+ issues, immigration, addiction, mental health, gun reform, and voting rights are conceived. The electorate broadcasts the urgency of implementing strategies known to mitigate climate change.

Buttigistism is inspired by the 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, whose brilliance, serene demeanor, humanitarian world view, courage, humility, maturity, intuition, reason and unassailable honesty form the sturdy spine of the electorate’s ethos.

I am 100% all-in as a political Buttigist — mostly because I believe that since 1776 (not a typo), there has never been a candidate of Pete’s caliber or high-minded, compassionate ideology to aspire to the nation’s highest office. Yes, I certainly count myself among Pete’s most ardent supporters, of which there are now hundreds of thousands. But there must be more. If you agree, I implore you to raise your voice in conversation, in the media, on social platforms and community gatherings to introduce others to the heart-centered ideals of Buttigistism. It is not an overstatement to assert that our lives may depend upon it. #PeteWave #20PETE20

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