Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg

Alright, it’s an election year and I will start this post by saying that a diverse set of political perspectives are valuable and necessary in any democratic institution. (In fact, democracy is not democracy without competition. This is because if you don’t have people with different views and plans to choose from, then you’re not really choosing anything.)

I – like everyone else – am painfully aware of the divisive nature of politics and have seen it become even more divisive over the last four years. I do not agree with the motions of our current administration and I do not believe that these motions are what’s best for our country. However, I believe in democracy and the benefits of popular representation in any system of government.

With all of that in mind, I want to make sure that I make a well-thought and well-informed decision in the upcoming elections. For me, that begins on March 3, 2020 – when the Super Tuesday primary election will take place in my state. I encourage everyone who is affiliated with a specific party to look up when your party’s primary elections will be held and do your due diligence before submitting your ballot.

My method has long been to list out the issues most important to me (I even rank them) and then systematically determine which candidate best represents my values. I am a registered Democrat which means that on March 3rd I will be casting my vote for the next Democratic presidential candidate – among others! Local and state elections are very important as well and, in most cases, will actually have a greater impact on your daily life than whoever sits in the White House. In preparation for my decision, I’ve decided to read from each of the main candidates, starting with the millennial mayor, Pete Buttigieg.

Shortest Way Home is something of a memoir. Pete details his early life and upbringing in South Bend, Indiana – where he would one day become Mayor Pete. He goes over his early forays into public service, including a stint in Afghanistan during his first term in office, and the lessons he’s learned through those experiences.

It’s a fantastic representation of Buttigieg’s leadership style. He’s morally driven and makes most of the decisions including in his book with a value-based and somehow analytical approach. You may not be super excited to read about sewage systems or community violence or ribbon-cuttings but Buttigieg demonstrates why these things are all important in our own communities – and why we as a community need to be involved in their development, avoidance, and ceremony.

His writing style is digestible and forthcoming. He makes himself vulnerable by exposing his thought process in tough times and sharing the elements of his personal life that, even he admits, should have no place in politics.

I don’t want to preach its praises, but if you have any interest in learning about this midwestern presidential hopeful – or just the ins and outs of any politician’s oddly public life – entertain me by reading it. I walked away from it within a renewed sense of patriotism and admiration for the people who represent us all.

I would like to ask that any comments about politics that may inflammatory be sent directly to me at hollyandoates@gmail.com – I am always open to these types of discussions but not everyone is and the devolution of these discussions that happen every day on social media platforms tend to just dig both sides deeper into their opinions when there is so much valuable information that could be exchanged instead.

Also, show me your involvement in our democratic process by sharing your voting excitement on social media, always @hollyandoates.

 

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