“Pete Buttigieg makes me a better person”

by Jennifer BaynumOct 3, 2019 (Medium.com)

If you aren’t following along in the world of American politics in preparation for the Presidential election of 2020, you may not know who Pete Buttigieg is.

A quick Google search will give you all the regular factoids when getting to know him as a candidate. One of those factoids is the pronunciation of his last name. Don’t worry; you’ll get it. There was a time when you didn’t know how to pronounce “Obama” either, by the way. You may know there are many, many people who are campaigning for the Presidency. For me, Buttigieg is completely different than everyone else. He’s a listener. He’s one of the most impressive listeners I’ve ever come across, be it in a political arena or not. Great listeners make great leaders.

By the way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also suggest you might Google Pete Buttigieg’s husband. His name is Chasten. I’ll let you discover Chasten on your own. I’d be forsaking in my love of happy surprises if I didn’t let you open your own gift. It’s absolutely a warm and loving running notion among Buttigieg supporters that Chasten is a special part of Pete’s campaign. He’ll immediately be one of your favorite people you’ve never met in “real life.”

Like many of the candidates running for President, Pete Buttigieg stops for a comically enormous number of selfies and photos. I’ve been one of his supporters since about the end of January. He and I share our birthday month as well as our wedding anniversary month. She goes by her middle name, but I share his Mom’s formal first name. I’m nerdy enough about my love for this candidate for those things to make me feel happy.

I had the pleasure and good fortune to meet Pete Buttigieg here in New Orleans in the beginning of July. I’ve never shaken anyone’s hand before and thought, “this is the most perfect handshake ever in the history of the handshake.” It was quite arresting. His handshake itself conveys as much about him as anything else. When he was shaking my hand, and I told him my name, he was listening. He’s an active, thinking, and honest listener. He was really stopping to really listen.

If you’re a Buttinerd, you’ve heard or read countless anecdotes regarding first impressions upon meeting Pete Buttigieg. All of them are moving, and all of them include notation about how genuine he is. The most moving of all the responses about meeting Pete Buttigieg comes from Pete Buttigieg himself. Recently a reporter named DJ Judd asked him if he could change something about modern campaigning, what it would be. This was his response:

“I wish I had as many interactions as I had selfies. Right? It’s like the selfie, it doesn’t even accompany the handshake now…I wish there were a little more humanity in those interactions.”

Pete Buttigieg is astute, direct, methodical, genuine, quick witted, caring, honorable, prepared, creative, brave, focused, and loved by the animal kingdom.

Other Pete Buttigieg supporters are very responsible about helping his candidacy take root. They engage their friends and acquaintances voluntarily. They boldly share articles, or make some other display of their support. They outright engage strangers to introduce them to Pete Buttigieg and his campaign. I have never been so personally involved in my support for a political candidate. And I feel that I owe it to myself, to Pete Buttigieg and all of the people who already know that he’s the best choice for President of the United States to come forward.

It’s time for me to exercise an act of hope and come out in public support of a candidate whom I feel can help all of us. And it’s time for me to do what Pete Buttigieg often says when discussing divergent opinions on any given issue. He always says that he trusts people. He trusts people. That’s lofty. Righteous and lofty. To you it may seem a trivial gesture. For me it’s a very large and bold thing to do. But I am compelled to make a fresh start for myself and stop being so afraid of everything all the time. It’s stifling. It’s stifled me in so many ways.

So I’m starting here: Pete Buttigieg makes me a better person.

His supporters have a saying. It goes like this, “Be like Pete.” (And often, “Be like Chasten.” Oh heavens, if we could all be like Chasten.) Today, I’d like to be like Pete Buttigieg and honor the people who deserve my honesty with courage, an open ear, an open heart, and the integrity to have the conviction to do what I know is right.

I am here for a Pete Buttigieg Presidency and I’m proud to share it. I’m happy to explain why in greater detail for anyone who wants to know more about him. I’m happy to clarify information you may already have about him. I’m happy to have open, honest, respectful conversation. And I’m happy to reap the benefit of being so inspired that I feel a sense of steady courage.

I am often embarrassed or afraid of really nothing at all. I am an emotional person who also has very strong opinions about a lot of different things. Today I am ready. I am ready to turn my back on my anxiety. Today I am ready to expect to be loved in spite of, or maybe because of my differences with other people and I’m ready for them to expect the same of me. I have the courage, the inspiration, the calm, and the hope to do those things. The reason why I have all those things, is because of Pete Buttigieg. Okay, and also a little bit because of Chasten Buttigieg. If after 46 years, I am prepared to finally offer the honesty, respect, trust and love that my friends and acquaintances should expect of me, imagine what a Buttigieg Presidency can do for the world.

[read in full at Medium.com]

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