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OPINION

Mayor Pete's 'Promise'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is seeking the presidency, wants to facilitate "choice" when it comes to killing an unborn child but not when it comes to educating a born one.

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In his America, the government would pay for abortions and the child care of millions -- from birth onward.

"A Buttigieg administration will ensure that women permanently have access to safe, affordable, and legal abortions by codifying the right into law to protect women from state-level interference, abolishing the Hyde Amendment, prohibiting interference in public and private insurance coverage of abortion, and increasing the number of clinicians capable of providing abortions," says his campaign website.

The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is endangered.

By contrast, Buttigieg opposes using federal funds to give parents vouchers they could use to liberate their children from public schools.

His campaign has published a policy paper -- "Keeping the Promise for America's Children" -- that states his position on this.

"And because public dollars should fund public schools, Pete will continue to oppose the implementation of any federal school voucher program," it says.

Yet the very first point in Buttigieg's plan says it will "Provide affordable, universal full-day child care and pre-K for all children, from infancy to age 5, serving more than 20 million children, with a landmark $700 billion investment."

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"To maximize the critical period of growth in children's first five years of life, early learning programs in America must be high-quality, affordable, and accessible, and they must work for all children, especially those from historically marginalized communities," says his plan.

"He will expand access to critical supports that enable learning, such as interventions that target social and emotional development through evidence-based models like early childhood mental health consultation," it says. "And Pete will invest in child care provider infrastructure for infants and toddlers -- currently the most under-resourced and unaffordable part of the system -- and in equitable strategies, such as those designed for dual language learners and children with disabilities."

The words "mother" and "father" (or "mom" and "dad") do not appear in Buttigieg's 20-page plan.

His plan does say, however, that part of it was inspired by his own husband.

"And my plan will empower teachers," says Buttigieg. "This is personal for me. When I met my husband, Chasten, he was teaching in Chicago Public Schools."

Buttigieg argues that his plan for federally funded "universal, high quality early education" will help children prepare for entry into their next level of education -- kindergarten.

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"Pete's landmark investment in universal, high quality early education will set the stage for children to start kindergarten ready to succeed, but the work doesn't stop there," says his plan.

Ultimately, Buttigieg pitches his proposal as a means to develop better citizens.

"A strong, well-functioning democracy depends on informed and engaged citizens working to realize our ideals," says his plan.

"Our schools must do more than educate and prepare our next generation of workers -- they must educate and prepare our next generation of citizens," it says.

Students will be taught, for example, "the contributions of LGBTQ+ Americans throughout history," and the federal government will advise local schools that biological males should be allowed to use female restrooms.

"Pete," says his plan, "will support curriculum that recognizes the contributions of LGBTQ+ Americans throughout history; reinstate Obama-era guidance on the treatment of transgender students, including with respect to pronouns, restrooms and dress codes; and promote a greater sense of belonging for LGBTQ+ youth through his We Belong mentorship program."

Would Buttigieg advocate teaching young Americans about the profound contribution our first president made to this nation in his farewell address?

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"Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle," President George Washington said as he left office.

"It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government," said Washington.

"Who that is a sincere friend to it," he said, "can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?"

In Buttigieg's America, parents who want to teach their children that marriage is between a man and woman, and that a men's room is for men, better have enough money to send their children to a private school that shares their values.

Buttigieg clearly does not.

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