The coronavirus continues to spread in the US at an alarming rate. What is not spreading, however, is the trust in our institutions to adequately control and provide the relevant facts.
So when a world leader like President Donald Trump says he tested positive for COVID-19, it makes sense that some American voters won’t believe him.
“We will have great problems facing the problems of our reality if we cannot agree on that reality,” Pete Buttigieg, former Democratic presidential candidate and Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told USA TODAY in a recent interview. His new book “Trust” (Liveright, 223 pp.), Published Tuesday, describes the loss of trust in the US at home and abroad – and ways in which we can possibly get it back.
“By its very nature, trust is also an act of vulnerability,” says Buttigieg. “In order to overcome the divisions we now have in our country, we need to make some down payments for this type of vulnerability.”
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Buttigieg hopes that President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump “recover quickly”.
Buttigieg reiterated former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and incumbent colleague Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) And wished the president well. In addition to the President and First Lady, cases in the White House have grown in recent days.
“I was alarmed to hear this and I hope the president and first lady make a quick recovery,” he says. “The bigger problem is that our ability to solve problems together, especially those that require collaboration, like fighting a pandemic, really depends on a high level of trust. Many of the countries that have had the greatest success in dealing with the Had a pandemic Pandemics have a much higher level of social trust. “
Buttigieg wanted to write this book to start conversations as Election Day approaches the work a country needs to build stronger social and political trust.
Trump’s positive case could mean that “some people will take this virus more seriously after seeing that literally no one, even the most powerful person in the country, is immune,” says Buttigieg. “And if that motivates some people to pay more attention to safety guidelines or public health warnings, then maybe that response can do something good.”
In the book Buttigieg alludes to a potentially difficult change of power if Trump loses the election.
“How to denounce white supremacy, it should be the easiest question in the world to answer, since only one answer is acceptable,” Buttigieg told USA TODAY. “And it is natural that the president and every presidential candidate should advocate this peaceful transfer of power.”
First Lady Update:Melania Trump will “continue to rest” in the White House, grateful for “prayers and support”.
Buttigieg on systemic racism: “I lack perspective”
Regarding concrete solutions to improve trust, Buttigieg’s book suggests fairer tax rates and the formation of a truth and reconciliation commission (i.e. what South Africa did in ending apartheid) to help the country deal with its demons. This could include one on systemic racism.
Buttigieg also describes an incident in June 2019 in South Bend where a white police officer shot and killed Eric Logan, a black man who later died. The officer’s body camera was not activated at this point and he was not charged. Buttigieg knew that part of his job was to bring up what happened and try to build trust outside of the specific tragedy. A year later, after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being held by a white Minneapolis police officer, the nation would go through its own, much larger, reckoning.
“When it comes to the broader patterns of systemic racism, I see myself as someone who, like all of us, has been exposed to something toxic, and we have to face it and see it,” he says. “I think part of the reasons why it is difficult for many white Americans with good intentions to make the necessary changes is the idea that bearing any prejudice is a flaw in character that, if honest, makes you a bad person said something is that we are all prone to it. “
He says white Americans need to realize that they have operated in a world where white is the standard.
“I know that simply because I am a white American, I lack perspective on the lived experience of those who have been treated badly because of their skin color,” he says. Michael Harriot, senior writer of The Root, took Buttigieg up on the subject late last year.
The color of our skin obviously gives us a different attitude towards trust.
“We need to see where the institutions have not trusted Americans equally,” he says. “It’s not just how we trust institutions, it’s how institutions trust us. Skin color, and black Americans in particular, have long tried to be heard about the consequences of living in a country that doesn’t trust them with guesswork Dangerousness that complicates everyday life. ”
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Will Buttigieg run for president again?
Buttigieg was the first gay man to run for president from a major party. Ever since his historic campaign fell apart during the primaries, Buttigieg has been busy helping Biden with the election.
“That was everything from speaking to reporters and broadcasters in swing states to helping with resource procurement, encouraging other surrogates and my past supporters to do the same,” he says of the home stretch as well. ”
Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg, told USA TODAY in August that the pair are looking into raising a family. He found this to be a confusing process, but one that they are excited about.
But will he be president again? “I don’t know. I’ve learned a lot about the country, about myself, and I’m proud of the campaign we’ve run, but also very proud to help (Biden) and (Harris) to the best of my ability.” he says. “We’ll see where things go from here. But as painful and dark as 2020 was, I still believe this could be remembered as the linchpin for a better future.”
For more from Chasten:Chasten Buttigieg talks about Biden, quarantine and new memoirs
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