Understanding Our New World: virtual forum with Pete Buttigieg

By Keaton Yates, Staff Reporter

Pete Buttigieg, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, held a Q&A via Zoom with Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Institute on Sept. 24. 

SIU’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is hosting a new live stream series that consists of online discussions with historians, political analysts and government leaders about how the coronavirus is affecting the world.

Buttigieg was mayor of South Bend, Ind., from Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2020. He entered the presidential race in April 2019 and later dropped out in March 2020. Buttigieg is currently teaching at Notre Dame University in Indiana.


Buttigieg said healthcare, economic and racial justice, mental health and climate situations should be the prime focus of U.S. leaders in government.

“We all know what we’re up against. We’ve all seen the failed response to the pandemic, we’ve seen economic freefall, we see how divided this country has become,” Buttigieg said.

Buttigieg said he wants to see someone in office who has the desire to bring this country together.

While running in the presidential race, Buttigieg said he always thought about his life and the lives of others.

“Good politics is about everyday lives,” Buttigieg said. “Government can’t make you thrive, but it can create the conditions to help you thrive.”

Buttigieg said his undergraduate students give him hope for the future. 

“This age has thrown a lot at them,” Buttigieg said. “That hasn’t stopped them from fighting for the future.”


He said this current generation may be the generation that delivers racial justice to the United States.

“When I think about what the 2020s could be like I think about what technology could be like and how justice can flourish in this country,” Buttigieg said. 

Staff reporter Keaton Yates can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @keatsians.

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