Why Mayor Pete’s 2020 Presidential Campaign is Already Finished

Pete Buttigieg has long had a problem with black voters. It's a problem that grew visible in his leadership as mayor of South Bend, Indiana over black-police conflictIn an effort to save his flailing presidential campaign, he has released his “Douglass Plan” to pander to the black electorate.  In this plan, he promises to reform credit scoring (currently consisting of five simple scoring metrics, none of which is the least bit racist), a “reduction in “racist policies” preventing some people from voting,” (like requiring a photo ID to vote, I guess?) and a “25% increase in government contracts with minority-owned businesses.”

Despite his providing ample details about this plan in the latest primary debate in Houston, Buttigieg is still polling at zero percent among black voters.  That’s a massive problem for Buttigieg in the primary, but perhaps an even bigger problem for Democrats if he were to somehow find his way to represent their Party on the presidential ticket.

As Victor Davis Hanson has observed, “anything less than the usual 85 percent to 90 percent [African-American] supermajority for a Democratic candidate on Election Day can prove fatal” for two distinct reasons.  First, “progressive Democrats are not making any effort to recapture turned-off white working-class voters.” And they can’t, as long as they continue promoting open borders which undermine working-class voters’ wages by courting illegal aliens into the expanded welfare state that Democrats are promising to these illegally introduced newcomers to the job market.  Second, while Democrats have captured roughly two-thirds of Asian and Latino voters in recent elections, “voter turnout among these groups generally isn’t as strong as it is among whites and African-Americans.”

So, the black vote is critical for Democrats.  But why can’t Buttigieg capture even one percent of the black vote in Democratic primary polls?

Much of that undoubtedly has to do with Pete Buttigieg.  Black Americans, more than any other racial voting demographic, are overwhelmingly Christian, at nearly 80% (according to Pew Research).  As Christians tend to generally view homosexual relationships as sinful, and matrimony to be the union of a man and a woman, ordained by God, for the purposes of family formation and the basis of its structure, it might be unsurprising that black Americans also represent the lowest support levels among racial voting demographics for same-sex marriage.

However you may feel about any of that, it’s a reality that Democrats face.  And Mayor Pete has a tendency to double down and rub all Christian voters the wrong way by reminding them that if you happen to believe any of that, or if you happen to find yourself morally opposing late-term abortions (which 81% of all Americans, religious or not, agree should be illegal), for example, you’re just not doing Christianity right.  And black Christians, in particular, might not take it well when he specifically hectors them about their unique devotion to such long-standing Christian dogma, which amounts to their adherence to “the old prejudices,” Buttigieg argues. 

But once black people see all the goodies that Buttigieg has to offer them with his Douglass Plan, black voters’ opposition to same-sex marriage will just “wash away,” he says, and they can get “on the right side of history.”

That is the backdrop to Mayor Pete unleashing his Douglass Plan, which was obviously a last-ditch, desperate attempt to pander to the black electorate in his campaign.

But again, it hasn’t worked.  He’s still polling at zero percent among blacks.  Why?

Buttigieg thinks he has the answer.  Black voters just “don’t understand” his Douglass Plan, he says.  If they understood it, he seems to assume, they’d overlook all the other things that they might not like about him.

Did you catch the racist assumption underlying all of this?

It can’t be that he’s not enjoying a bump in support for his Douglass Plan among black voters because he’s shamelessly pillaging the name and legacy of Frederick Douglass, an American hero, abolitionist, and defender of the United States Constitution, for his own political benefit.  And it can’t be because black Americans are wise to the blatant and desperate pandering involved.  No, black voters are, in Mayor Pete’s estimation, just too simple to understand that he knows what’s good for them better than they do.

Whatever the reason, black voters aren’t buying what Buttigieg is selling.  And, to be clear, what he’s selling is policy prescriptions which are predicated upon the purest racism imaginable.

On his website, Mayor Pete argues that “[f]reedom means freedom from the government treating anyone differently on the basis of race.” [actual emphasis cited] And yet, a core policy of his plan is that the government will select its private business partners based upon the skin color of the business owner, if he’s elected.

Not only is this profoundly hypocritical, but it’s among the most blatantly racist policies I’ve ever seen seriously introduced by a politician, tailored specifically to benefit black business-owners at the expense of white business-owners who might otherwise win government contracts as a matter of merit. 

Consider that a private business owner cannot, by law, consider race in determining who will be employed.  And here is a presidential candidate suggesting that government policy, in his administration, will be to decide who is awarded government contracts based upon the color of one’s skin?

Far from black voters “not understanding” what he’s pitching, I think something else is signified by their refusal to trot quickly to the carrot that Mayor Pete is dangling before them.

I don’t believe that black Americans want policies which are uniquely tailored to “help” black people at the expense of others.  I believe that’s what race hustlers and politicians want to convince black Americans that they may need to get ahead, but it’s not what they, or millions of other Americans, want. 

This is why, until recently, Democrats have argued for redistribution in vaguer terms than Mayor Pete’s (and some other Democrats’) explicit race-pandering.  Taking money from white people to give that money to black people is wildly unpalatable to the American public, much like, I suspect, awarding government contracts to black business-owners, based upon their skin color, is unpalatable to the American public – black, white, and otherwise. 

The data show this pretty handily, though it’s harder to quantify a reason for it.  Reparations for the descendants of slaves is a wildly unpopular prospect, for example.  And Buttigieg has made no headway by telling black voters that he’ll grant government contracts to black business owners because of the color of their skin.

The reason, I believe, is fairly evident.  And the evidence is in human nature.

In the fall of 2001, I recall taking a mandatory college course called “Family Ecosystems.”  It was an interesting course, in which groups of two or three were routinely selected to create presentations for the class on various controversial subjects for class discussion.  I led several presentations that semester, but the one I remember most was one that I didn’t lead, titled “Consideration of Race in College Admissions.” 

I remember thinking a lot about this topic at the time, because at my orientation (after my transfer to this particular university), I remember the orientation staff touting that our university had the “most ethnically diverse student body in the nation.”  I remember wondering why (nearly twenty years ago) that was a feature of the university to be celebrated, as one might celebrate a particularly meritorious scientific research faculty, top-notch facilities for students, or even a good football team.  The outcomes are what is important, I thought, and not the ethnic makeup of the people involved.

True to my orientation’s claim, I’d estimate that this class was about 15 to 20 percent comprised of black students.  And no one was quicker to speak than those students on this particular subject.  Without fail, every single black student adamantly stated opposition to affirmative action policies in college admissions, and every single black student said that college admissions, just like everything else in life, should be earned by effort and merit.

It was truly amazing.  In a semester of nothing but contentious discussion about various subjects, there was virtually no disagreement on this one topic.

And that is because no one wants to believe that they’ve been given something for having offered nothing of value.  And least of all, people don’t want to be given something due to the color of their skin, because one’s skin color has no value in the world that I believe most Americans, deep down, want to exist within.  

So, when Mayor Pete says he’s going to award government contracts to black business owners, based solely upon their skin color as a last-ditch effort to pander to black voters, I’m not the least bit surprised that it didn’t have the effect he intended.  And far from black voters being unable to understand what he’s pitching, I believe they understand what he’s attempted quite well. 

Black voters are just not buying what Pete Buttigieg is selling.  And if this openly racist Douglass Plan isn’t working for him to earn votes among the black electorate, a critical voting bloc needed for a Democrat victory in 2020, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that we can stick in fork in Mayor Pete’s presidential election campaign -- he’s done.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Pete Buttigieg has long had a problem with black voters. It's a problem that grew visible in his leadership as mayor of South Bend, Indiana over black-police conflictIn an effort to save his flailing presidential campaign, he has released his “Douglass Plan” to pander to the black electorate.  In this plan, he promises to reform credit scoring (currently consisting of five simple scoring metrics, none of which is the least bit racist), a “reduction in “racist policies” preventing some people from voting,” (like requiring a photo ID to vote, I guess?) and a “25% increase in government contracts with minority-owned businesses.”

Despite his providing ample details about this plan in the latest primary debate in Houston, Buttigieg is still polling at zero percent among black voters.  That’s a massive problem for Buttigieg in the primary, but perhaps an even bigger problem for Democrats if he were to somehow find his way to represent their Party on the presidential ticket.

As Victor Davis Hanson has observed, “anything less than the usual 85 percent to 90 percent [African-American] supermajority for a Democratic candidate on Election Day can prove fatal” for two distinct reasons.  First, “progressive Democrats are not making any effort to recapture turned-off white working-class voters.” And they can’t, as long as they continue promoting open borders which undermine working-class voters’ wages by courting illegal aliens into the expanded welfare state that Democrats are promising to these illegally introduced newcomers to the job market.  Second, while Democrats have captured roughly two-thirds of Asian and Latino voters in recent elections, “voter turnout among these groups generally isn’t as strong as it is among whites and African-Americans.”

So, the black vote is critical for Democrats.  But why can’t Buttigieg capture even one percent of the black vote in Democratic primary polls?

Much of that undoubtedly has to do with Pete Buttigieg.  Black Americans, more than any other racial voting demographic, are overwhelmingly Christian, at nearly 80% (according to Pew Research).  As Christians tend to generally view homosexual relationships as sinful, and matrimony to be the union of a man and a woman, ordained by God, for the purposes of family formation and the basis of its structure, it might be unsurprising that black Americans also represent the lowest support levels among racial voting demographics for same-sex marriage.

However you may feel about any of that, it’s a reality that Democrats face.  And Mayor Pete has a tendency to double down and rub all Christian voters the wrong way by reminding them that if you happen to believe any of that, or if you happen to find yourself morally opposing late-term abortions (which 81% of all Americans, religious or not, agree should be illegal), for example, you’re just not doing Christianity right.  And black Christians, in particular, might not take it well when he specifically hectors them about their unique devotion to such long-standing Christian dogma, which amounts to their adherence to “the old prejudices,” Buttigieg argues. 

But once black people see all the goodies that Buttigieg has to offer them with his Douglass Plan, black voters’ opposition to same-sex marriage will just “wash away,” he says, and they can get “on the right side of history.”

That is the backdrop to Mayor Pete unleashing his Douglass Plan, which was obviously a last-ditch, desperate attempt to pander to the black electorate in his campaign.

But again, it hasn’t worked.  He’s still polling at zero percent among blacks.  Why?

Buttigieg thinks he has the answer.  Black voters just “don’t understand” his Douglass Plan, he says.  If they understood it, he seems to assume, they’d overlook all the other things that they might not like about him.

Did you catch the racist assumption underlying all of this?

It can’t be that he’s not enjoying a bump in support for his Douglass Plan among black voters because he’s shamelessly pillaging the name and legacy of Frederick Douglass, an American hero, abolitionist, and defender of the United States Constitution, for his own political benefit.  And it can’t be because black Americans are wise to the blatant and desperate pandering involved.  No, black voters are, in Mayor Pete’s estimation, just too simple to understand that he knows what’s good for them better than they do.

Whatever the reason, black voters aren’t buying what Buttigieg is selling.  And, to be clear, what he’s selling is policy prescriptions which are predicated upon the purest racism imaginable.

On his website, Mayor Pete argues that “[f]reedom means freedom from the government treating anyone differently on the basis of race.” [actual emphasis cited] And yet, a core policy of his plan is that the government will select its private business partners based upon the skin color of the business owner, if he’s elected.

Not only is this profoundly hypocritical, but it’s among the most blatantly racist policies I’ve ever seen seriously introduced by a politician, tailored specifically to benefit black business-owners at the expense of white business-owners who might otherwise win government contracts as a matter of merit. 

Consider that a private business owner cannot, by law, consider race in determining who will be employed.  And here is a presidential candidate suggesting that government policy, in his administration, will be to decide who is awarded government contracts based upon the color of one’s skin?

Far from black voters “not understanding” what he’s pitching, I think something else is signified by their refusal to trot quickly to the carrot that Mayor Pete is dangling before them.

I don’t believe that black Americans want policies which are uniquely tailored to “help” black people at the expense of others.  I believe that’s what race hustlers and politicians want to convince black Americans that they may need to get ahead, but it’s not what they, or millions of other Americans, want. 

This is why, until recently, Democrats have argued for redistribution in vaguer terms than Mayor Pete’s (and some other Democrats’) explicit race-pandering.  Taking money from white people to give that money to black people is wildly unpalatable to the American public, much like, I suspect, awarding government contracts to black business-owners, based upon their skin color, is unpalatable to the American public – black, white, and otherwise. 

The data show this pretty handily, though it’s harder to quantify a reason for it.  Reparations for the descendants of slaves is a wildly unpopular prospect, for example.  And Buttigieg has made no headway by telling black voters that he’ll grant government contracts to black business owners because of the color of their skin.

The reason, I believe, is fairly evident.  And the evidence is in human nature.

In the fall of 2001, I recall taking a mandatory college course called “Family Ecosystems.”  It was an interesting course, in which groups of two or three were routinely selected to create presentations for the class on various controversial subjects for class discussion.  I led several presentations that semester, but the one I remember most was one that I didn’t lead, titled “Consideration of Race in College Admissions.” 

I remember thinking a lot about this topic at the time, because at my orientation (after my transfer to this particular university), I remember the orientation staff touting that our university had the “most ethnically diverse student body in the nation.”  I remember wondering why (nearly twenty years ago) that was a feature of the university to be celebrated, as one might celebrate a particularly meritorious scientific research faculty, top-notch facilities for students, or even a good football team.  The outcomes are what is important, I thought, and not the ethnic makeup of the people involved.

True to my orientation’s claim, I’d estimate that this class was about 15 to 20 percent comprised of black students.  And no one was quicker to speak than those students on this particular subject.  Without fail, every single black student adamantly stated opposition to affirmative action policies in college admissions, and every single black student said that college admissions, just like everything else in life, should be earned by effort and merit.

It was truly amazing.  In a semester of nothing but contentious discussion about various subjects, there was virtually no disagreement on this one topic.

And that is because no one wants to believe that they’ve been given something for having offered nothing of value.  And least of all, people don’t want to be given something due to the color of their skin, because one’s skin color has no value in the world that I believe most Americans, deep down, want to exist within.  

So, when Mayor Pete says he’s going to award government contracts to black business owners, based solely upon their skin color as a last-ditch effort to pander to black voters, I’m not the least bit surprised that it didn’t have the effect he intended.  And far from black voters being unable to understand what he’s pitching, I believe they understand what he’s attempted quite well. 

Black voters are just not buying what Pete Buttigieg is selling.  And if this openly racist Douglass Plan isn’t working for him to earn votes among the black electorate, a critical voting bloc needed for a Democrat victory in 2020, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that we can stick in fork in Mayor Pete’s presidential election campaign -- he’s done.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0