South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — one of the leading 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls — seems to be taking a page out of a long-standing tradition of Democratic candidates pandering to minorities when support from a specific demographic is in question.
According to The Daily Caller, Buttigieg announced on Thursday the “Douglass Plan,” which is the candidate’s answer to winning over members of the black community who are not fans of the mayor, thanks in part to recent and past controversies.
Buttigieg tweeted a summary of the plan, which is in honor of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
“Named after American hero Frederick Douglass, this plan demands we take aggressive steps toward fulfilling long-broken promises of true equality, including reforming broken systems, strengthening access to credit, and injecting capital into the Black community,” he wrote.
Named after American hero Frederick Douglass, this plan demands we take aggressive steps toward fulfilling long-broken promises of true equality, including reforming broken systems, strengthening access to credit, and injecting capital into the Black community.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) July 11, 2019
One of the plan’s methods to “inject capital into the Black community” is the legalization of marijuana. And according to his official policy page on the candidate’s website, Buttigieg is also planning to push reparations for the black community, should he win the presidency.
To recap: Buttigieg, who is struggling to gain approval among black voters, wants to win them over by making pot legal and giving them money to atone for slavery.
If that’s not an expert-level pandering strategy, I don’t know what is.
The Douglass Plan also offers a variety of other benefits to the black community, including his plans to “eliminate incarceration for drug possession, reduce sentences for other drug offenses and apply these reductions retroactively.”
In other words, drug dealers and users of any ethnicity are likely going to be super-interested in voting for him.
On top of the severe reduction in drug-related laws, Buttigieg also promised to expunge past drug convictions.
Why doesn’t he just eliminate the entire justice system while he’s at it?
And just so you’re aware, Buttigieg is gunning for the black vote. In a recent interview with CNN, he made his intentions crystal-clear.
“I’m interested in winning black support and deserving to win black support,” he said. He even told the Rev. Jesse Jackson at a recent Rainbow PUSH Coalition breakfast, “When you’re new on the scene, and you’re not from a community of color, you’ve got to work much harder in order to earn that trust, because trust is largely a function of quantity time.”
Buttigieg’s apparent idea of earning trust is more awkward than the time former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton revealed to a black audience that she always carries around a bottle of hot sauce in her purse.
To be fair to the candidate, his proposal also offers ideas — such as bolstering minority-owned business opportunities and entrepreneurship and increasing educational opportunities — that could genuinely help South Bend’s black community. Those are the types of ideas that can actually make a positive difference anywhere.
However, the mayor appears to be overcompensating for recent controversy in his hometown that involved a white police officer fatally shooting a black suspect — a situation for which South Bend residents criticized Buttigieg.
He also took heat early in his mayoral career for firing the city’s first black police chief, according to WRTV.
Only time will tell if Buttigieg’s pro-drug, anti-incarceration plan will win over a demographic that he is struggling to impress, but I have a feeling that a majority of black voters will see right through his pretentious politicking.
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