The likely victory of former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the Iowa caucuses has boosted him to the top tier of presidential candidates, since the last four winners of contested Iowa contests eventually scored the nomination.
Surely the most remarkable thing about his, well, unusual candidacy (no national or statewide experience, younger than any president so far, a flashy but fishy stint as a naval officer, a deceptive claim about his language abilities) is the fact he’s an openly gay man with a husband he kisses on the campaign trail.
In 2020, will “Lieutenant Pete” (he left the mayoralty last month) lose the election because he’s gay?
Well, in the third decade of the 21st century, most Americans — and certainly most Democrats — either respect gay people or couldn’t care less what they do in their bedrooms, so long as they’re Ellen DeGeneres gay people and not “Call Me Ma’am” gay people. (RELATED: Buttigieg’s Internal Focus Groups Find ‘Being Gay Was A Barrier’ For Black Southern Voters, Especially Black Men)
But even an “Ellen-gay” is highly unlikely to be elected president due to the increasingly doctrinaire LGBT community.
Now, the press loves to write stories about “Lesbians for Warren” and other challenges Lieutenant Pete faces in garnering gay votes, but that’s not the problem. In fact, it’s a real strength of American democracy that even Democrats don’t always pick candidates based on identity politics.
The problem is that on various trendy transgender issues (which even gay people didn’t support just a decade ago), the gay community’s consensus is sharply at odds with the national consensus. Republicans and conservative-leaning media will ask him questions about transgender rights, and he’ll have to choose between alienating his “home community” and alienating the rest of the country. (RELATED: Protesters Interrupt Pete Buttigieg, Shouting ‘Tans People Are Dying, Do Something!’)
For example, a Rasmussen survey last year found only 29 percent of respondents favored allowing transgender students to participate on sports teams of the gender they identify with.
Trans activists heralded a 2019 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute as evidence of American sympathy for their agenda, but it said no such thing. It merely said Americans have become MORE supportive, which could mean they went from “very opposed” to “fairly opposed.” And indeed, a look at the data itself shows Americans don’t agree with the LGBT community on trans rights:
- Only 24 percent of Americans feel strongly there are more than two genders;
- The percent of Americans who strongly oppose laws requiring the use of bathrooms that match one’s biological sex has dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent in just two years; and
- Support for transgender military service appears to be falling even among Democrats.
Yet the LGBT community brooks no compromise on trans issues. One example: “non-binary” journalist Casey Quinlan wrote a 2000-word screed for The New Republic complaining that, for example, Democrats do not use the word “transgender” enough, and 180 Democratic legislators refused to fly a transgender flag (!) outside their offices. Quinlan quoted Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul, a person Quinlan described as – get this – “a Salvadoran Nawat non-binary trans womxn,” saying Democrats “want me to say something like ‘let trans people be’ and that’s not enough.”
LGBT activists who think like that — and there are a lot of them — are not going to accept mere tolerance from Buttigieg. They’re going to demand much more.
If gay-sympathetic voters see Lieutenant Pete as too beholden to doctrinaire LGBT ideology, they have a real choice, since the current occupant of the White House has a pro-gay record unparalleled for a Republican president. To win, Buttigieg will need to demonstrate independence from extremists who share his background. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Want Anybody Like That In The White House’: Iowa Caucus Voter Wants Vote Back After Learning Buttigieg Is Gay)
There’s a long history of presidential candidates doing just that. Examples include John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to Protestant ministers underscoring that his Catholicism will not affect his public policies; peacenik hippies going “clean for Gene” by shaving their beards and cutting their hair to make Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 campaign seem less radical; Bill Clinton’s 1992 “Sister Souljah moment” denouncing an anti-white hip-hop artist before Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition; and Barack Obama’s eventual condemnation of his spiritual mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s viciously anti-American sermons.
Lieutenant Pete is going to need at least one Sister Souljah moment if he expects Americans to trust he won’t be beholden to LGBT extremism. But since LGBT extremism is now LGBT mainstream-ism, don’t count on it.