Buttigieg has since deleted this tweet:
Yes we can. Especially since we now need a Third Reconstruction.
— LGBTQ Nation (@lgbtqnation) February 26, 2020
Pete Buttigieg is being criticized for his comment from last night’s Democratic presidential debate in which he said he’s “not looking forward to” a possible election season where Bernie Sanders’ “revolutionary politics of the 1960s” go against “Donald Trump with his nostalgia for the social order of the 1950s.”
Buttigieg said the line as a way to knock Sanders’ recent praise of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s progressive social reforms. But after Buttigieg highlighted his own comment in a tweet, critics began pointing out that the revolutionary politics of the 1960s include the Stonewall Uprising that made Buttigieg’s acceptance as an out gay presidential candidate possible. Buttigieg subsequently deleted the tweet.
— Hans Castorp (@HansCastorp000) February 26, 2020
— #ProgressiveParty (@GottaBernNow) February 26, 2020
The details of this history are too rich to cover in a post-debate blog post. But what’s easy enough to say is that in dismissing the “revolutionary politics of the 1960s” as “nostalgia” that he’d rather avoid, Pete Buttigieg has made abundantly clear why queer people of Gessen’s first, politicized category may not see him as a peer. To dismiss the political fervor and creativity of the ’60s is to dismiss the exact historical moment that made his candidacy, his marriage, his very public existence, possible. It is to abjure all the work, ingenuity, and sacrifice that his ancestors (though he may not recognize them as such) invested to enable such a strange, calculated relationship to his own gayness. To feel unable to “afford” the ’60s is to suggest that the righteous emotions and ideas that fomented Stonewall, the sort of wild dreams and unruly energies that introduced the possibility of queer liberation to the world, are just too costly for us in 2020.
If Mayor Pete really thinks that, then he and his campaign should have no trouble understanding why many of us queers don’t see him or his presidential bid as something to be terribly proud of. But hey, maybe there is a trace of shame yet in South Bend. After initially tweeting the disavowal of the decade that brought us Stonewall as a highlight of his debate performance, the candidate to be America’s first out gay president quickly deleted it.
OTOH Trump apparently endorsed Pete in a retweet:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020