By MIKE McCOMBS
Sally Hannock of Coosaw was one of the 600 or so people who came out Saturday to Whale Branch Middle School to hear South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg make his case to Lowcountry voters why he should be the Democrats’ choice to unseat Donald Trump as U.S. President in 2020.
A Massachusetts native who moved to Beaufort two years ago, Hannock lists Buttigieg and Kamala Harris among her favorites so far, but she had been desperate to see Mayor Pete for the first time.
And hear him she did.
“This country is running out of time,” Buttigieg said. “This election is about the future and our insistence that the future be better than the past.”
Here’s a look at what Buttigieg had to say, both on his own and in response to questions:
– “It’s time for a secretary of education that actually believes in public education,” he said.
Betsy DeVos has been an abject failure, particularly for the students she claims to represent.
– Patriotism, national security and God do not belong only to the Republican Party.
“We get to speak up and nobody is going to question our loyalty to the republic,” Buttigieg said.
– One of the biggest threats to our nation is white nationalist violence and it must be addressed as domestic terrorism.
– “We have got to confront climate change as one of the biggest national security threats of our time,” he said.
– Much like military service, we ought to give young Americans the opportunity to serve their nation through national civilian service. Buttigieg proposed creating a million paid public service jobs.
– Like the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II, Buttigieg proposes a Douglas Plan that would create an equitable system (justice and economic) for black Americans. He said populating the current system with good people isn’t enough.
– Dollars currently outvote people. It’s time for serious campaign finance reform.
– We need to make government more representative. Getting rid of gerrymandering and the Electoral College is a start.
– We need to work harder to address the problems in front of us. We have to deal with today’s problems so our children can focus on their own problems when they are actually in charge.
– He expressed his support for Medicare for all who want it,
“I believe in universal health care,” he said. “Every other country has figured this out. But how do we get there?”
He said the public option is better than the corporate option, but demonstrate it by leaving the corporate option. If the people see for themselves it is a better option, they’ll get there by their own choices.”
– We have to do a better job of taking care of both the mental and physical health of our veterans. We made them a two-way promise. We have to provide better access to the VA facilities and programs. And we have to have a rural training program to better facilitate good care.
– Buttigieg said he wouldn’t hesitate to use executive authority to undo all the bad executive orders of this president. Issues like family separation, the handcuffing of the EPA and overtime rules. However, “I would rather local cement these policies in through legislation.”
– We have to rein in the NRA, Buttigieg said. “The kinds of weapons that I carried overseas have no place in our neighborhoods, he said. But the NRA’s own corruption is doing some of the job.”
– And lastly, lobbyists are becoming too powerful. It’s time, Buttigieg said, for Americans to use the Founding Fathers’ secret weapon and pass and amendment to overturn Citizen’s United.
Above: Rain couldn’t keep die-hard Democrats away Saturday morning for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s campaign rally at Whale Branch Middle School, where he received an energetic welcome. Photos by Bob Sofaly.