According to a poll taken after the most recent viewing party of the Democratic Debate, hosted by Carleton Democrats, Elizabeth Warren is the preferred candidate of Carleton College. She received 112 votes from Carleton Democrats which to put in perspective, Bernie Sanders, another favored candidate at Carleton, only received 35 votes. It is hard not to admire Warren, as a strong woman who came from a low income family and became a Harvard Law professor. However, while impressive, she is definitely not the only star candidate in this election. An increasingly popular, and my personal favorite, candidate is Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg, a candidate formerly known for his youth and “lack of experience,” pulls ahead in the polls weekly. In recent polls, he even passes Sanders and is among candidates such as Biden and Warren. Buttigieg provides a new perspective and the reality that Warren is not the only option.
Buttigieg, a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar, holds many democratic and progressive stances while maintaining a realistic and logical approach to change. These stances include climate change, women’s rights, and, as he puts it, “Medicare for All Who Want It.” On the subject of climate change, an issue that will be a dealbreaker regarding my personal vote, he has submitted an ambitious and logical plan titled the “Clean Energy Victory Plan.” This plan stems from a “clean economy,” according to his website, and promises that after 100 days in office he will submit the new U.S. Paris Climate Goal for 2030 and, in cooperation with other countries, combat the increasing effects of climate change.
The topic on which Buttigieg and Warren might differ the most is healthcare. While Warren is known for her plan to raise taxes on big corporations and the wealthy, Buttigieg has made clear his plan to give Americans a choice between a government run health plan, and the private healthcare plans on which they may already be enjoying. The reason I take issue with Warren’s plan is the risk on which it stems: alienating voters who may be deciding between a moderate Democratic candidate and not voting at all. By attacking the wealthy those with wealth and big corporations, she stirs resistance among those with much influence in this election. Furthermore, she speaks of big corporations and wealthy families as if they were an endless pool of many that can support a healthcare plan benefitting the middle class, for which she idealistically claims taxes will go down. This is not to say that the wealthy and big corporations should not be held accountable for their actions, but that the manner in which they are being treated is logical and fair. Furthermore, she speaks of big corporations and wealthy families as if they were an endless pool of many that can support a healthcare plan benefitting the middle class, for which she idealistically claims taxes will go down.
Something that sets Warren apart from other frontrunners is her perspective as a woman. While there is nothing a man can do to fully understand the struggles of sexism in modern society, I believe that Buttigieg is extremely respectful to these struggles and provides plans that will push forward women’s rights in the 21st century. These include, but are not limited to, raising a culture that holds employers and corporations accountable for their transgressions, implementing a 12 week comprehensive paid family and medical leave, and making movements for the pro-choice agenda so women can reclaim the constitutional right to make decisions for their bodies. Along with his policies, the audiences Buttigieg reaches are a vital part of his success.
I believe that Buttigieg has the ability to unite a divided political audience and call forth a large group of voters that may not know their place in this current election: Trump- renouncing republicans. While we can debate the correctness of this group’s beliefs until the cows come home (to Northfield, MN), we cannot deny their ability to help decide the next election. Many moderate republicans have made their distaste for President Trump known. A large fraction of these voters have claimed to be interested in Mayor Pete’s agenda. Warren, while being a popular candidate among Ddemocrats, is not as liked among this group largely due to her policies regarding healthcare and government influence. The ability to utilize and motivate this group of voters will undoubtedly help decide this next election and whether or not Trump is re-elected for a second term.
A large part of what drew me to Buttigeg was his acknowledgement of a post-Trump America and what picking up the pieces of our country will entail, as seen in the most recent Democratic debate. America will be polarized, vulnerable, and confused and will need a president capable of unifying all Americans.
Buttigieg is not limited by age, but empowered by new perspectives and the ability to unite a polarized America. His policies have proved both logical and ambitious and address the struggles of all Americans. He has proved himself a frontrunner in the 2020 election and competes right up there with older and settled candidates such as Warren and Biden.