The Democratic voters are gathered at the corner of Diversity and Pragmatism this election cycle, and they are facing some difficult choices. Two of the top three candidates in current polling are straight white males.
Those committed to traveling the diversity path have several choices in this (still) big field, most of whom have no chance whatsoever of beating President Trump in the general election.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg spent a couple of months appearing to be able to lead the voters down both paths at their leisure. The media loved him. He’s young. He’s gay. He’s a veteran. And he hauled in more money in the second quarter than any of his opponents, including the White Brothers at the top of the polls.
It would seem that he should be a lock for LGBTQ voters, right?
Campbell Spencer, a lesbian and political consultant, moved to Washington in the 1990s to work in LGBTQ advocacy. She wooed gay and lesbian voters for Al Gore, worked a stint in the Obama White House and now serves on the board of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which this year issued its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate: Pete Buttigieg.
But Spencer herself will not be voting for Buttigieg.
“Mayor Pete, he’s a trailblazer,” Spencer said in an interview. “But I’m one of these women who thinks we are way overdue for having a woman in the White House. That’s a lens through which I’m going to filter my decision.”
So…he gets the endorsement but not the vote.
The article highlights how the diversity crowd often cannibalizes itself. It acknowledges that the “LGBTQ community has been an important launch pad for Buttigieg’s presidential bid.”
Unfortunately for Mayor Pete, he is the wrong kind of diverse for many in the “L” portion of “LGBTQ” crowd:
The majority of the women POLITICO interviewed for this story did not want to speak on the record, citing a desire not to damage Buttigieg’s campaign. But especially when compared with the laborious ascent of Hillary Clinton, Buttigieg’s swift rise in national politics hints of male favoritism, some said. Others applauded his run — but feel more strongly about the need to elect a female president.
“It feels like a slap in the face to just go directly to the white gay guy, when for decades you’ve been trying to elect a woman and it didn’t happen last time,” said one lesbian Democrat who works in national politics. “If Pete Buttigieg is elected it won’t feel like a vindication of Hillary Clinton. If a woman is elected, it will.”
There’s a glimpse of the fact that, no matter how accepting we become as a society, it will never be enough for the progressive “diversity über alles” crowd. Mayor Pete’s acceptance by the media and financial donors all over the country is a “slap in the face” because he’s from the Patriarchy.
Houston’s lesbian former mayor Annise Parker told Politico that she is voting for Mayor Pete, but then added this:
“And talking with other women inside the community and not, we understand the importance of Pete’s candidacy — but dammit, we’re half the population. It’s time” for a woman president, Parker continued.
She’s not voting for him.
While lesbian voters don’t represent a huge chunk of the Democratic electorate, the mindset represented here does. That means things are looking better and better for Elizabeth Warren.
Stephen Kruiser is the author of “Don’t Let the Hippies Shower” and “Straight Outta Feelings: Political Zen in the Age of Outrage,” both of which address serious subjects in a humorous way. Monday through Friday he edits PJ Media’s “Morning Briefing.”