Do you remember where we were on November 8, 2000? We were waiting to see if our next president would be Gore or Bush. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the fight was over ballots in Florida, where Bush’s brother was running the state.
There’s an episode of “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher” from November 8, 2000 on YouTube you might enjoy. I have been watching old episodes of the show that aired around previous presidential elections and campaign seasons (another spoiler: Maher voted for Nader). My reason is to see if things are really worse this time around than in the past. Final spoiler: as bad as they’ve been in the past, yes, they are worse now.
I wanted to isolate a few bites that the panelists had to say about George W. Bush, as the country and the world were in the midst of that ugly recount.
Laura Innes: “As far as I can tell he has very little experience, he’s accomplished very little in his life on his own, he doesn’t believe in the things I believe in, and I see no reason to see why he should be representing us to the world.”
Jason Alexander: “If he was brilliant but lazy… maybe. If he was ignorant but a hard worker… maybe. But he ain’t brilliant, and he doesn’t seem to be a hard worker.”
And he was elected.
Compare Bush, 8 years in The White House, to Mayor Pete Buttigieg
1.) Pete has experience in spades. He has been working on policy for years, even before he was elected Mayor – twice — and without a fight over hanging chads.
2.) Pete already has accomplished a long list of milestones on his own. Start with the JFK Profiles in Courage essay win in high school, move on to Harvard, then Rhodes Scholar, then deploying to Afghanistan for seven months, twice elected mayor, ran for the DNC chair, and has surged in the polls in his first Presidential run, where only a few months ago, none of us could pronounce his name.
3.) Pete is brilliant but not lazy (how many languages has he mastered?)
4.) Pete is not ignorant, and is a hard worker. (see South Bend Town Hall this past Sunday, and the debate this coming Thursday).
Don’t let anyone tell you Pete is not qualified enough, needs more years to mature, or has to be a member of Congress first. If someone does, direct them to YouTube, the modern day equivalent of a history book.
We’ve had this choice before. If we hang on to our values and stay focused, we will get it right this time.