The candidate is gay
LOOKING ASKANCE - Joseph Gonzales (The Freeman) - April 21, 2019 - 12:00am

A mayor as the next president? Not far-fetched in the Philippine context, as Mayors Estrada and Duterte have proven. What about in the United States?

A gay mayor as the next president?  As the LGBT community has found out, that candidate is here!  That's Pete Buttigieg for you, mayor of a town in Indiana.  And according to the BBC, if we can keep in mind that the Brits enunciate words differently, that's pronounced Boot-edge-edge, for those who want to know exactly how to say his name.

Mayor Pete is gay? Yes, according to him and to the news wires. It's not fake news, as those who follow American politics have seen, since he came out on national television and, during the announcement of his candidacy for President, he even kissed his husband (yes, he's married) on stage.

Sigh. What a dreamboat. Speaks seven languages, graduate of Harvard, was a Rhodes scholar, and is even a writer, having written and published his memoirs - and then landing himself (twice!) on the New York Times bestseller list.  The credentials don't stop there. As America is such a macho society, the press keeps pointing to his service in the Afghan war as well as his stint in Naval Intelligence.

The way the critics are hammering at him this early, the drawbacks are his inexperience at national office (not that it ever stopped the Americans from electing Donald) and that, as oft-observed with most millennials, he's coming to work expecting to be handed the juiciest role.

But looking at his credentials, the way I see it, he's overqualified to be a mayor. With that cred, he's underutilizing all that potential. I mean, if an illiterate, ill-tempered buffoon can lead the mightiest nation on the planet, why not Buttigieg, for Pete's sake? (Strike one for the bad pun!)

I can't wait for the dreamboat to make the dreams a reality. Imagine winning the Democratic primaries over a field of what? Eventually seventeen, eighteen contenders? Then duking it out with the Republican nominee, the sitting and not doing much except to wreak havoc President on the national stage.  What about that would be.

Can you imagine the insults that would fly from his Twitter account? I'm already anticipating constant face-palms at the incredible shallowness of the rhetoric.  Of course, the Donald might no longer have the advantage of using Mayor Pete's closet homosexuality as a bludgeon (part of the benefits of coming out) but I would bet he's still going to keep harping on and perpetuating, and even intensifying, all the gay myths there are.  Stuff like, how everyone is a pedophile, and how they're all sexual addicts and how they keep checking all the merch in the toilets. Name the nasty suspicion and the negative perception, the Donald will amplify it.

Good thing Donald dodged the draft and didn't serve in the war, while Pete bit the bullet and signed up for war.  That's one thing Donald can't taunt Pete with. (And to think, America chose the war-evader to hold the keys to its nuclear arsenal.

The mean jokes and terrible insults attacking LGBT's would just fly off into cyberspace and social media.  Which would be both good and bad, I suppose. The Presidential elections would be an excellent venue to showcase the best of gaydom, so to speak, and to have a principled discussion on the merits.  At the same time, however, that discussion would not be moderated by a level-headed referee.  Much less a principled counterpart.  It's going to be an uncontrolled explosion of vitriol, and the mud's going to do its best to stick.

In a harbinger of things to come though, Presidential Pete (I coined the term first, ok?) was asked his reaction to the early crackpots that showed up in his rallies chanting : Sodom and Gomorrah. Buttigieg confidently took it all in stride, and responded "when you're in're going to see the good, the bad, the ugly and the peculiar.  That's just part of how it works, and you've got to be prepared for that.  Look, the next President is going to have to confront things a lot more challenging than being interrupted or having to talk over a little noise at an event."

Outstanding response!  Focused on the big picture, while skillfully diminishing the haters. That's the level- headed leader that America, and the world needs!  (He has my vote).

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