He may disagree with their politics, but he still digs their crispy chicken sandwiches.
According to Eater, the openly gay South Bend, Indiana mayor (and 2020 presidential candidate) Pete Buttigieg believes he just might be the bridge that heals the divide between the LGBT community and the notoriously conservative fast food chain Chick-fil-A.
"I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken," Buttigieg said on an interview with the Breakfast Club. "So maybe if nothing else, I can build that bridge. Maybe I’ll become in a position to broker that peace deal."
Co-host Charlamagne Tha God agreed with Buttigieg, noting that the backlash against Chick-fil-A for their Christian conservative perspective stems from the culture of extremes. "We just live in this era of extremes, and people can’t see the nuance in things anymore," the co-host said.
The Indiana mayor used that point to highlight how he dialogues with other people who have different ideologies, arguing that people need to share their identities rather than using it as a wall to shut people out.
"We’ve got to find a way to use our identities to reach other people," he said. "To me, there are two things that can happen when you are conscious of your identity. One is it turns into all these ways we separate ourselves from each other, and it just turns into one big “You don’t know me.” But the other way we can do it is to say, 'Okay, I’ve got this experience, you’ve got that experience, what can we talk about that brings us together?'"
Buttigieg added that nobody knows what it's like to walk in another's shoes and how we would do better to learn that. "I have no clue what it’s like to walk in the shoes of so many other people," he said. "But I can talk about some of the pieces of what I carry with me, and see if it rhymes with their life experience. And I think good art has that, good music has that, good literature has that."
"Good chicken sandwiches, and good politics," he continued. "Good politics ought to have that quality too."
Unfortunately, Buttigieg pointed to President Trump as a cause of this problem, failing to grasp the reality that the Obama administration ratcheted identity politics up to 11 for eight years in this country. For instance, it was under President Obama's watch that the war on Chick-fil-A began in the first place.
As reported by The Daily Wire's Emily Zanotti, Buttigieg may indeed be a dark horse 2020 candidate, but he's a dark horse 2020 candidate that is quickly generating some buzz by soaring to third place in the Iowa caucus polls. She wrote:
Buttigieg's home paper, the South Bend Tribune, reports that Buttigieg "leap-frogged" a handful of well-known Democratic contenders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to take third place behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who have 25% and 24% respectively. Buttigieg is at 11%.
Harris is the only candidate even remotely competitive, with 10%.
That's shocking news for the full Democratic field. Buttigieg is not a known commodity, but he is a well-liked mayor, a veteran, and a relatively soft-spoken progressive, whose rhetoric on the campaign trail, so far, has been far more inclusive than that of his competitors.
The left-wing hatred for Chick-fil-A began in 2012 when company president and COO Dan Cathy expressed support for traditional marriage, prompting boycotts across the country from LGBTQ activists.
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,'" Cathy said at the time. "I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."
Just last year, two major publications wrote scathing articles begging people to boycott the business: The New Yorker and Huffington Post. "If You Really Love LGBTQ People, You Just Can’t Keep Eating Chick-fil-A," wrote Noah Michelson of HuffPo. When Chick-fil-A wanted to set up shop in New York City, Dan Piepenring of The New Yorker called it a "creepy infiltration" of the city.
Most recently, a dean at Rider University resigned from his post when the school banned the chicken restaurant on campus.