Pete Buttigieg Ended His Campaign on Sunday, March 1. (Wikimedia Commons)
On Sunday, March 1, Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination, and with that his chance at taking on Donald Trump in November. Throughout his candidacy, the nation learned more about a new face in our government: one mature beyond his years.
We learned about a politician who is as eloquent and accomplished as anyone might expect from a 38-year old mayor, and above all, we learned about a man with a rare quality in today’s Washington. We learned about a man of virtue.
In the end, virtue was what prompted the Rhodes Scholar, the ex-Navy DOC and the champion of Iowa just weeks ago to drop out of the presidential race, with the ultimate goal of generating what Democrats have been wishing for since the start: unity.
Virtue is what sprung Buttigieg forward in many ways, and this combined with his always-impressive speech abilities is what propelled him into becoming not only one of few openly gay men to run for president but the first openly gay man to run competitively for president. His policies were debated, his issues with police-race relations in South Bend were criticized (and rightfully so), and his ability to inspire was questioned. Yet, what remained true throughout this campaign was that Mayor Pete always kept the moral high ground through his humility and willingness to admit weakness in his past. In the years and decades to come, these traits coupled with his proven drive to improve will elevate him to great heights.
Soon, the momentum Buttigieg garnered throughout this run will likely be lost in the clouds of the 2020 Democratic primary history-books, yet the foundation he built for himself as a politician has changed the course of his future in public service. For the greater good, Mayor Pete also proved that a member of the LGBTQ+ community running for president is not a radical idea in today’s America, although this was indisputably still an issue for voters across all 50 states.
What Americans must keep in mind is that if a simple glance at the ballot shows anything, it’s that politicians become more electable on a national-stage with ample time to grow, develop and gain more experience. Biden, Bloomberg, Sanders, and Warren are all over 70 years old, and whoever rises out of this field will face a man 73 years of age. With time comes the opportunity to keep climbing the totem pole of American politics, and just as his ideas will grow and mature, so will the tolerance of the American population to have a gay president.
Mayor Pete will remain Mayor Pete for now, but in the coming years, don’t be surprised if you see his name preceded by the words “Secretary,” “Congressman,” “Governor,” or even “Senator.”
One day, it just might be “President.”