Pete Buttigieg Praised Bernie Sanders For His ‘Socialist’ Beliefs in 2000 Essay
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor now running as a gay Democrat presidential candidate in 2020, previously praised Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bravery for using the controversial term “socialist” to describe himself in an award winning essay.
As a high school student in 2000, Buttigieg won the Profile in Courage Essay Contest for his essay praising Sanders for labeling himself a socialist.
In the essay, Buttigieg laments the politically correct standards of both political parties at the time, writing that “Candidates have discovered that is easier to be elected by not offending anyone rather than by impressing the voters,” describing politicians from both parties as “rushing for the center, careful not to stick their necks out on issues.”
Buttigieg contrasted politicians he considered centrist, like President George W. Bush, with Sanders.
“Sanders’ courage is evident in the first word he uses to describe himself: ‘Socialist’,” wrote Buttigieg, adding “Even though he has lived through a time in which an admitted socialist could not act in a film, let alone hold a Congressional seat, Sanders is not afraid to be candid about his political persuasion.”
He went on, gushing over Sanders throughout the 8 paragraph essay.
“His energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political scene,” wrote Buttigieg.
In the concluding paragraph, Buttigieg credited Sanders with inspiring him to devote his life to politics.
“Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption,” he wrote.
Notably absent from Buttigieg’s glowing admiration of Sanders was any mention of “Democratic Socialism”, which seems to be a qualifier Sanders only created in the last several years as he prepared for his presidential runs.
It is unknown why Buttigieg himself would run for president, as his apparent political hero had already entered the fray by the time Buttigieg himself decided to run.