Pete Buttigieg used a traditionally conservative argument about moral leadership to turn the tables on the GOP.
Buttigieg said on Saturday Night Politics with Donny Deutsch, “I do agree that there’s a need for us to recognize that a big part of leadership is just calling forth what’s best in us, and right now we’ve got leadership that draws out the worst in us, draws out the absolute worst in supporters and opponents sometimes, and we need something different, we need a different way. And this is traditionally more of a conservative thing to say, but that moral leadership really matters, character really matters. And I think we need to hold our president to a very high standard and want to put forward a case that each of us competing for that job ought to be looked at in those terms.”
Republicans have been mockingly suggesting that Democrats can’t run on just saying that Trump is a bad man, but the point that Pete Buttigieg made is not that Trump is bad, but that America needs moral leadership out of the presidency, and the nation can do better. The United States needs a president who will use the office to unify instead of divide.
The argument that Pete Buttigieg made should sound familiar. It is one that Republicans made during the 2000 election when George W. Bush ran for president. Moral leadership will likely be one of the significant undercurrents of the 2020 election. It is Trump’s biggest weakness. A majority of Americans are already suffering from Trump fatigue, and the argument that it is time for sunshine to break through Trump’s dark cloud of scandal hate and division should not be underestimated by the pundit class in 2020.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association