ENDORSEMENT: Buttigieg embodies the best of America and the best chance to move past Trump

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Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg greats members of the audience at a campaign stop at Chickasaw Event Center, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in New Hampton, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Historians and scientists will for decades study how it was that nearly 40 percent of the country either supported President Donald Trump or were indifferent to him.

Trump is the antithesis of everything we have historically considered ourselves as a nation and the qualities most people tout as desirable in a leader. He is provably dishonest, bigoted, vengeful, arrogant and incompetent.

How and why Trump maintains the support of roughly one-third of the nation and most congressional members of his party is for historians to reveal when he’s gone from office.

What a great majority of Americans agree on, and some Republicans in Congress agree privately, is that Trump must be voted out of office so what we consider American ideals and values can be restored to the White House and all of government.

Sentinel Colorado Editorial Board

There is, however, almost as much disagreement about who among Democratic contenders is best qualified and most likely able to beat Trump. The nation is so obsessed divining who among the slate of Democrats can beat Trump that they overlook the obvious answer: It’s the candidate best qualified to be president. That person is Pete Buttigieg.

Colorado voters are in a unique and important position to help make Buttigieg’s presidency possible. Not only can any eligible voter here register and cast a presidential primary election ballot right up until the polls close March 3, but unaffiliated voters can mark the Democratic presidential primary ballot without joining that party or any other.

A powerful argument can be made that any of the top-tier Democratic contenders would be a far superior U.S. president than Trump. It’s equally viable that any of the top-tier Democratic candidates could win the race in November. Because of that, The Sentinel is endorsing in the Super Tuesday Primary, which Colorado will participate in for the first time.

The Democratic presidential nominee, whomever that is, will likely be the next president. And the winner of Super Tuesday contests will likely have the best chance to capture the nomination. It means that a majority of voters in Colorado and 13 other Super Tuesday states are poised to pick the person who replaces Trump in the White House.

You don’t have to look any further than Buttigieg’s most recent televised debate performance to see why he is the clear choice among contenders.

Buttigieg’s plan for America is as transparent as his arguments during debates. The former South Bend mayor is forthright, pragmatic, highly intelligent, compassionate, courageous and, above all, honest. He handles every debate encounter with the same even-handed and analytical demeanor that invites confidence and trust.

Those qualities persuaded us, and will certainly persuade a great majority of American voters, to choose him as the best qualified candidate for president, and the most likely person able to beat Trump.

Buttigieg brings much more to the table than just surgeon-like confidence and reliability. The relatively young former mayor brings boots-on-the-ground experience as a soldier. He brings eight years of experience working inside a stubborn government bureaucracy to restore a government that affects all of us the most: our local one. He can legitimately tout verifiable success at reforming and restoring economic vitality and credibility to a stagnant government gone astray.

His pragmatic approach to solving the problems of South Bend is exactly what America needs in the White House. He makes obvious in every debate and public event that he has an unclouded understanding of what worries, or should worry, the vast majority of Americans. The nation must address unaffordable health care. Our government must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and plan for the disastrous effects of inevitable climate change. The government must act on the fact that job creation by itself doesn’t solve the accelerating income inequality that is creating a nation filled with the working poor. The government must address pervasive racism and bigotry that unfairly holds back more than half of the nation. The government must restore America as a credible and critical global force for good.

While other Democratic candidates have offered up enticing and laudable goals for the nation, Buttigieg offers critical aspirations and realistic ways to attain them.

Buttigieg is right by pointing out that a national, affordable health care insurance program available to everyone who wants it is the only rational way to move America closer to universal care. Americans would run for a better, cheaper health-care insurance program, however it’s created. American businesses would flourish if they could remove the economic cancer of health insurance that stymies the growth of jobs and salaries. There is, however, too little trust left in the government to force everyone into Medicare for All without deadly national backlash.

In these and other critical issues, Buttigieg has shown the courage to avoid easy populist promises and instead offer realistic goals that move America where most Americans want it to go. He’s bravely made choices in his own life by serving our nation in the military, a struggling city and by being open about his own sexuality. It clearly signals the qualities of a valuable and worthy leader.

Buttigieg is a culmination of the best of America and has a realistic plan to help our nation improve the lives of everyone who lives here. Everyone.