Ed. Note: Another in our series of personal statements of support from readers for Democratic presidential candidates
By Susan Reidinger:
Last March, I was tooling around Youtube when I somehow landed on a video of a guy on a CNN Town Hall. He referred to Mike Pence as the “(C)heerleader for the porn star presidency.” That was when my life became about Pete Buttigieg.
I am 57 and have always been a Democrat, but have never volunteered for a campaign, followed the election this early, donated to a campaign, and so on. But I have done all of that and more for Pete. To me, he is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate and I am doing all I can to get him elected.
Pete has a broad vision for where the country should go and the detailed plans to get us there. He is the only candidate with a plan (the Douglass Plan) to not just address current racist policies, but also to address the long-term impacts of systemic racism on communities of color.
I love that he is not a DC fixture. He’s new, brilliant, and ready to unite this fractured country. His theme of belonging is genuine and needed. He welcomes you to his team, as you are. He reaches out to EVERYONE.
Since last summer, Democrats have been telling me that they like Pete, but they don’t know if he could be elected. They are referring to the fact that he is married to a man, but do not want to say it out loud. Yet, Pete won Iowa! Pete was a close second in NH! If we vote for Pete, he IS electable. Have courage, fellow Democrats! Vote for whom you admire and stop thinking about what your neighbors are doing.
Last October, I flew to Des Moines to support Pete at the Liberty and Justice Dinner. I never, ever travel. But I did for Pete. Being there when he walked out on the stage is a moment I will never forget. The energy and joy we all felt was amazing. The support for Pete dominated the event. His speech was inspiring. This was something I had never experienced in my 57 years.
I hope you feel this way about your candidate. This is not the time to wring our hands and worry. It is the time to be bold! Pick the person who makes you believe in democracy again and go for it! Make calls, knock doors, do whatever you can to get your candidate elected. I am doing all of that for Pete and will never regret a minute of it, regardless of the outcome.
Susan Reidinger is a special education teacher at Lake Braddock Secondary School and a member of Springfield District Democratic Committee
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