By PoliZette Staff | February 10, 2020

On Friday night, 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg went at Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, slamming his “my way or the highway” politics. Two decades earlier, however, Buttigieg was singing a very different tune about Sanders, as a newly-surfaced high school essay of his has shown.

Buttigieg reportedly won the the John F. Kennedy “Profiles in Courage” essay contest by writing a piece that praised Sanders, “both for his willingness to take unpopular stands and his ability to work across the aisle,” The Daily Caller reported.

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In the essay, Buttigieg praised Sanders for courageously claiming the title of “socialist:”

“Sanders’ courage is evident in the first word he uses to describe himself: ‘Socialist’. In a country where Communism is still the dirtiest of ideological dirty words, in a climate where even liberalism is considered radical, and Socialism is immediately and perhaps willfully confused with Communism, a politician dares to call himself a socialist? He does indeed. Here is someone who has ‘looked into his own soul/ and expressed an ideology, the endorsement of which, in today’s political atmosphere, is analogous to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Even though he has lived through a time in which an admitted socialist could not act in a film, let alone hold a Congressional seat, Sanders is not afraid to be candid about his political persuasion.”

Buttigieg also praised Sanders for challenging the NRA and for accepting same sex marriage. He claimed that it was Sanders’ ability to bring both sides of the aisle together that truly made him a “profile in courage:”

“It is the second half of Sanders’ political role that puts the first half into perspective: he is a powerful force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that ‘we should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals. For politics and legislation are not matters for inflexible principles or unattainable ideals.’ It may seem strange that someone so steadfast in his principles has a reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes Sanders truly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy’s ideal of ‘compromises of issues, not of principles.’”

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Fast forward twenty years, and Buttigieg and Sanders are the two frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Something tells me that Buttigieg would not describe Sanders as a “profile in courage” now.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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