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The Mayor Pete dilemma

| Wednesday, April 10, 2019

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a shrewd politician, military veteran and beloved South Bend icon. He has gained national influence recently after his initial exploratory committee to run for president, followed by his formal announcement just last week. He paints himself as the moral voice of the 2020 election, but sadly his track record does not point toward morality when it comes to the ethics of protecting the unborn.

In an interview with Kirsten Powers, Mayor Pete was expounding upon his Christian faith and how it influences his political beliefs. In response to a question about his favorite Bible verse, he chose this iconic verse from Matthew 25: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” In this passage, the least applies to the poor, the naked, the hungry, the cold and the stranger. Overall, it speaks about anyone who is vulnerable and in need. In today’s society, who could be more vulnerable than the unborn? Helpless infants are legally allowed to be killed in this country if their parents do not want to raise them. Mayor Pete cannot claim to be an advocate for the oppressed when he not only neglects, but actively disservices, the nation’s most vulnerable.

Abortion is a national epidemic, claiming the lives of just under 900,000 children every year. No border crisis, climate crisis, terrorist crisis or healthcare crisis can compare to the immediate emergency that is abortion in the United States. No group is withheld more rights and human dignity than the unborn. Any politician who wants to base their candidacy in morality and serving “the little man” needs to include those still in the womb.

Mayor Pete’s refusal to help the unborn was on display during a zoning issue for the city of South Bend. In April of 2018, Buttigieg vetoed a bill that would have allowed a property re-zoning to allow for the opening of a Crisis Pregnancy Center which provides abortion alternatives to women who have unwanted/unexpected pregnancies. He attempted to explain that taking a stance on abortion was “above his pay grade” as a mayor. However, if he truly believed this to be the case, he should have stuck with the decision of his city council, which was elected by the citizens of South Bend. Respecting their decision to move forward with the CPC would exercise grace in defeat and a reverence for the democratic process. Instead, he acted unilaterally and vetoed the bill, taking a clear stance that he supports the pro-choice agenda over the pro-life.

Mayor Pete is beloved in South Bend by students and residents alike. Anyone in the South Bend area will tell you about their one-on-one interactions with him and how genuinely interested he is in the lives of his constituents. However, his actions on the street are not supported by his deeds in office. Politicians, no matter how kind they are in person, always have an ulterior motive and objective in each interaction. This is not necessarily a bad thing; serving the people should be a politician’s first responsibility, hence the term “public servant.” However, it is crucial that any good public servant serves their whole constituency, not just those older than infancy. Earlier in the semester, this column analyzed the effect of abortion on the growth of the African American community in the United States and how abortion has diminished their voice in the U.S. government and their presence at the ballot box. In Buttigieg’s struggling city of South Bend (ranked in USA Today’s 2018 Top 50 Worst Cities in America), it would behoove him to help fuel the growth and eventual success of South Bend’s urban African-American community by advocating for the lives of the unborn.

While this column may sound very damning of Pete Buttigieg, let it be known that on issues besides abortion, his love for his fellow Americans and love for people around the world could not be more obvious. He is an incredibly well-educated, well-spoken and thoughtful man with exceptional character. However, the abortion issue is too grave to ignore. U.S. politicians, including Mayor Pete, cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the slaughter of innocents taking place on a daily basis.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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