- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who’s running for president, said during a campaign stop in South Carolina that America “was never as great as advertised.”

Thus joining an alarmingly long list of Democrats who think America pretty much bites.

Buttigieg stands out from that field because he’s running for president — and really, shouldn’t someone who’s running to lead America think America is great? Seems a no-brainer.

This is what Buttigieg said, though, beginning with his jab at President Donald Trump, as Breitbart reported: “So many of the solutions [for America] are going to come from our communities. Communities like the one where I grew up, which is an industrial mid-western city. That is exactly the kind of place that our current president targeted with a message saying that we could find greatness by just stopping the clock and turning it back. That past that he is promising to return us to was never as great as advertised, especially for marginalized Americans.”

What is it with Democrats and their reluctance to acknowledge America’s exceptionalism?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in mid-2018 America “was never that great.” His full statement — while floating a possible presidential run, no less — went like this, Fox News reported: “We’re not going to make America great again, it was never that great. We have not reached greatness, we will reach greatness when every America is fully engaged, we will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of our population, is gone.”

Eric Holder, former U.S. attorney general, wondered aloud to Trump in March, “Exactly when did you think America was great?”

And of course, the Democratic Party’s apologists of all apologists, Barack Obama, spent an entire eight years of White House occupation saying sorry for America’s this, mea culpa for America’s that, to about any nation that would listen — any nation except Israel, that is.

Now comes Buttigieg with more of the sad same.

Here’s what Democrats don’t get: America is not simply a plot of land. America is a driving spirit, a dream of free people, an idea of what could be. Yes, the country’s experienced rough times — horrible times, terrible times, grievously tough times. Yes, the country, as both people and government, has both inflicted and suffered pain.

But the dream of America still stands.

The offering of the best humanity has to offer still beckons.

That, Mr. Buttigieg, is what makes America great. Always has, always will. And that’s a message the Democrats could stand to learn — especially the ones running to represent the exceptional America on a global platform.

If you can’t get that, you have no business being in public office — no business trying to lead the nation.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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