Pete “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg on the cam­paign trail. | Wiki­media Commons

In June 2016, my father and I attended a political rally for a pres­i­dential can­didate passing through my hometown. I loathed the can­didate, and I loathed almost every second of the rally. His policy pro­posals were absurd, his logic flawed, and his rhetoric inflam­matory.

The can­didate was none other than Pres­ident Donald J. Trump.

I knew before I attended the rally that I was unlikely to find any­thing I could agree with in his speech. But I went anyway. I wanted to hear what he had to say without a third party between us and no chance for media bias.

Now, another pres­i­dential election is upon us, and my hopes are high that Hillsdale will, like it has in the past, become rich with thoughtful political dis­cussion and spirited debates. I espe­cially hope that we will take the time to con­sider, not just the views of Donald Trump and his intra-party chal­lengers, but the views of the Demo­c­ratic can­di­dates as well.

There is no better way to do this than to invite Demo­c­ratic can­di­dates to speak on our campus.

One of the most promising Demo­c­ratic can­di­dates, and one that Hillsdale stu­dents could benefit from hearing, is Pete Buttigieg.

Pop­u­larly known as “Mayor Pete,” Buttigieg is a Rhodes Scholar and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He is a dec­o­rated veteran of the United States Navy, and much of his platform is influ­enced by a deep devotion to his country, and his firm and out­spoken Christian faith.

“The divine comes to earth…in a servant mode,” Buttigieg said in an interview with CNN. This belief inspired Buttigieg to pursue local office, where he effec­tively reversed the decline of South Bend.

Under his lead­ership the economy grew, poverty and crime levels dropped, and a thousand unlivable homes were torn down, leaving room for new urban growth.

Faith-cen­tered lead­ership is a goal to which many Hillsdale stu­dents aspire, and hearing the story of a man who has achieved that goal can only be ben­e­ficial. The spir­itual life at Hillsdale is pow­erful and inspiring, and inviting Buttigieg to speak on our campus would be an excellent oppor­tunity for stu­dents to learn about the way that faith influ­ences the lives and careers of Chris­tians on both sides of the aisle.

Buttigieg shares Hillsdale College’s devotion to freedom. While cam­paigning for Barack Obama in 2007, Buttigieg met vet­erans and young recruits and decided to take his place alongside them in the Navy Reserves.

In 2014, he served in Afghanistan in the midst of his first term as South Bend mayor. He drives home the impor­tance of pro­tecting freedom in his cam­paign platform, empha­sizing that threats come “not just from gov­ernment,” but from cor­po­ra­tions and other social and eco­nomic con­di­tions.

This per­spective is vital for Hillsdale College, as it causes us to ponder what freedom really means, and whether gov­ernment is its only threat in the modern era.

It is not political mem­bership or a spe­cific religion that unites the stu­dents of this school. Instead, it’s the shared belief in the school’s motto: Pur­suing truth, defending liberty.

No political party has a monopoly on truth; therefore, it is our respon­si­bility to advocate that a range of views be rep­re­sented from the speakers who visit our campus.