Disclaimer: The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Knight Crier staff, the North Penn School District, or its administrators, faculty, or newspaper adviser. Questions and comments should be directed to [email protected].
Turning point, crossroads, moment of truth: the election of 2020 is often declared to be the manifestation of every revolutionary cliche, neatly wrapped into the start of a new decade. Against a backdrop of polarization and governmental turmoil, we as a country have a crucial choice to make. But before this can even occur, the Democratic party has an even more immediate slate of dilemmas. Moderate or progressive? Mayor, senator, or vice president? Most importantly, which candidate has the greatest chance of rallying the party together to take on President Trump?
Though endorsing presidential candidates is a common journalistic practice, it remains a rarity for student newspapers, mostly to avoid the entanglement of personal views and our apolitical public education system. The Knight Crier staff would like to once again unequivocally state that this endorsement does not reflect the views of every student journalist, nor does it imply partisan support on the part of the school or administration. Because the Democratic Party is in the midst of a competitive primary while the Republican Party is not, we’ve chosen to endorse a Democratic candidate to receive the party’s nomination in July. We listened, we watched, we read, we debated, and we gauged the tone of our community and our country, and after two rounds of voting that nearly culminated in a tie (every vote matters!), we reached our decision.
The Knight Crier staff hereby endorses Mayor Pete Buttigieg to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
With large sections of our country, especially young people, embracing the dynamic, turbulent us-against-them politics of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, readers may wonder why we as high school students haven’t gravitated en masse towards a more progressive candidate. While it’s true that our generation is more than a little unsettled by the prospects of paying off six-figure student loans and navigating the labyrinth of healthcare, we as a staff chose to invest more heavily in the tone of our state rather than in the ambitious agenda of an enigmatic and uncertain new electorate. In short, we know our community, and as Pennsylvanians, we prefer a candidate who has demonstrated the ability to reach across many different sectors of society. There is no one-size-fits all for reform; the needs of a farmer in Scranton will differ from those of a professor in Philadelphia. The Democratic nominee, by extension, must understand how to connect with all Pennsylvanians and Americans regardless of their views, lifestyle, or socioeconomic position.
While we understand that bold, progressive agendas (the Revolutionary War, avocado toast, etc.) have undoubtedly contributed much to American society, we believe that these troubling times call for a candidate – Mayor Buttigieg – who possesses the ability to draw the many sides of our country towards the negotiating table. This is how policy is made. Though some will dispute it, moderation does not equal indifference.
Pete Buttigieg was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, the quintessentially Midwestern home of both Notre Dame University and the economic woes plaguing large swaths of the Rust Belt, a loose collection of states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia) largely dependent on manufacturing. He attended Harvard University, and upon his graduation earned a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, allowing him to study for his Master’s degree at Oxford University. He worked on several Congressional campaigns and as a policy researcher at consulting firm McKinsey & Co. before joining the Navy. He was deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence officer. After returning, Buttigieg was elected mayor of South Bend. According to his website, “household income rose by 31 percent, poverty fell by a third, and unemployment was cut in half” during his tenure.
Mayor Buttigieg favors a public option, meaning that consumers would be able to choose between purchasing government-funded or private health insurance. As the healthcare industry makes up nearly one-fifth of the American economy, we believe that the financial and employment risks involved in implementing Medicare For All are too great for it to be considered a viable option. Mayor Buttigieg’s plan, colloquially dubbed “Medicare For All Who Want it,” allows consumers the choice of public health insurance while preserving capitalism and competition within the healthcare industry.
As a Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Navy officer, Mayor Buttigieg has the desirable combination of both theoretical and practical experience in the field of international relations. We believe that he will be a steady and effective ambassador for American values abroad while rebuilding crucial relationships with our allies.
Gun Violence, the Environment, and Immigration
Though most – or all – of the Democratic candidates feel similarly on these issues, Mayor Buttigieg is uniquely poised to break gridlock and make tangible, bipartisan progress. His Rust Belt roots are especially promising for the environment, as he demonstrates potential to persuade state and local governments to harness green energy sources to create jobs in that region. Furthermore, his blend of small-town experience and an international mindset suggest a willingness to compromise with Republicans and Democrats alike to find solutions to gun violence and immigration reform.
This endorsement does not imply our agreement with every piece of the numerous and multifaceted policy plans that Mayor Buttigieg has put forth; rather, we believe that he is the candidate best poised to accomplish his goals and fulfill his promises.
The Knight Crier staff encourages all who are eligible to vote in the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary on April 28th, regardless of their preferred candidate.
If you will be 18 on or before April 28th, register to vote here: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx