On Thursday morning, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said he wants to shift America’s political “center of gravity.” He redefined far-Left proposals like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All as “pragmatic” and a “compromise.”
“Look, I think what we have to decide is, are we going to keep being defined by these — where these fenceposts are — or are we going to do what the Right very successfully did over the last 40 years and redefine them?” Buttigieg asked in his appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“Medicare for All is a great example,” he said, referencing the single-payer health care proposal from self-declared democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). According to Mercatus scholar Charles Blahous, Sanders’ single-payer health care bill currently in the Senate, the Medicare for All Act (M4A), would add approximately $32.6 trillion to the federal budget during the first 10 years of its implementation (2022-2031). A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that Americans support single-payer — until they realize what it will cost in terms of taxes and personal freedom.
Yet Buttigieg insisted that Medicare for All is a “compromise.”
“Again, you know, ACA [the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare], which was a conservative proposal, came to be caricatured as left-wing by a very disciplined right-wing message machine, right?” the mayor said. “What is Medicare for All? It’s a compromise. I mean, in the UK you got national health care. That would be the left-wing — the true left-wing position. The true right-wing position is free for all, all corporate. And the compromise position is a single-payer system where you have private doctors but a public payer.”
This “compromise” is no true compromise, because doctors cannot truly remain private if the payer is entirely public. Buttigieg is true to his word — attempting to redefine the political “center” through messaging in favor of Left-wing positions.
The mayor discussed a “bigger project of making sure the center of gravity of American politics is actually lined up with the center of gravity of the American people.” He insisted that because the phrase “universal background checks” commands high support in polls, Democratic gun control bills should easily pass Congress.
Buttigieg said conservatives have done “a masterful job” in their efforts “to pull the entire center of gravity of the American political spectrum further right than where most American people already are.” This statement seems ironic after Barack Obama used his eight years in office to shif the political ground on all sorts of cultural issues. Buttigieg himself is married to his male partner, thanks to the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision.
Most revealing, however, was his characterization of the Green New Deal, the proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“I don’t think it’s a crazy left-wing idea that we ought to have a sense of urgency — a sense of emergency even, as somebody who’s thinking about what the world’s going to look like in 2054 when I get to the current age of the current president — that we got to do something about climate change that acknowledges it as an emergency that really is in its destructive power on par with something like the Great Depression or World War II,” Buttigieg said.
“So, of course, we got to have something on the scale of the Green New Deal. That’s not left-wingism, that’s pragmatism,” the mayor insisted.
My PJ Media analysis found that the Green New Deal would cost $49.109 trillion in the first ten years — more than 8,000 times the amount President Donald Trump has requested for his border wall. Paying this kind of money would bankrupt the U.S., but perhaps more importantly, it would be money wasted in pursuit of literally impossible goals, like running America’s power grid on wind and solar energy.
Ocasio-Cortez released her official resolution for the Green New Deal last week. While she has since disavowed an FAQ page that explicitly called for the eventual elimination of cow farts and air travel, the actual resolution is bad enough. The Green New Deal explicitly calls for updating every single building in the U.S., guaranteeing “clean air and water,” “healthy food,” and “access to nature,” among other things. The resolution calls for a bill that would address racial tensions.
The Green New Deal is a nonsense utopian fantasy, the last thing from “pragmatic.”
Yet Buttigieg defended its pragmatism by referencing climate alarmism, and if he were right that catastrophic climate change would end life as we know it by 2054 he might have a point. The problem is, most climate alarmist predictions have proven false. While it is reasonable to think carbon emissions may affect global climate, there is no clear link. Instead, alarmists seize on all sorts of weather events as “proof” of climate change, even as predictions — like the sinking of the Maldives Islands — fail to come to pass.
Furthermore, even if climate alarmists were correct, the U.S. is not the major driver of global emissions. Unless the U.S. could convince China and India to cut their emissions, the most effective Green New Deal could not hope to solve the alleged climate crisis.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.