If we believe that structures create people and things, then the impossibly long American electoral process is directly to blame for the Mayor Pete Dance. It would be very difficult to find a thing more asinine, I’m not sure that anything in competition with the Mayor Pete Dance could do any better than tying the Mayor Pete Dance in a contest for Most Asinine.
There are two types of people reading this article. One, those who know what the Mayor Pete Dance is, and to you, Godspeed, I know you’ve lived it. The others, those who have not heard of this monstrosity, who have managed to stay so blissfully unaware that such a thing could exist in this world, I would implore you not to look it up. Look away.
What is the Mayor Pete Dance? Well, strictly as a thing, it is a choreographed performance that presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg is having his campaign workers teach supporters and volunteers, so that they can post clips of the dance, and just, you know, feel the good vibes. The dance is done to the perfectly asinine Panic at the Disco! song “High Hopes”, tied for first with the dance itself. Check out these hilarious lyrics:
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high, hopes
I won’t put you through anymore, but the song does include the idea of Manifest Destiny, so there’s that. Here’s the thing about Mayor Pete: he’s so devoid of substance, so keen to revel in the shape–shifting of a campaign, the desire to be President for no reason other than to be that one in 300 million. Accordingly, it’s impossible to say whether this conservative think–tank–consulting, buzzwords–as–solutions–grifting, pseudopragmatism–as–progressivism–schilling Ivy Leaguer has even the bare minimum of self–awareness that would be required to see how perfectly the song sums up his campaign.
This is the idea of America as seen by those privileged few that still manage to convince themselves and plenty of hand-waving dance volunteers that they are high–achieving geniuses who ought to be rewarded with more power. How much more? Well, the man won a whole 8515 votes to be named Mayor of Indiana’s fourth–largest city, so what else is left but Leader of the Free World? Shoot for the stars, because God knows we aren’t going to bother repairing the gutters.
The key is to achieve, to rise above, to show resilience, this is America as seen by those who have not had to realize that resilience is not to be praised, but rather something to be sympathized with and ameliorated. Pete’s the type of guy who will get up at a town–hall when someone asks him a substantive question about providing healthcare to subcontract labourers who have no job security or benefits, and say something like, ‘I met Tanya just last week over in Des Moines. Tanya is dealing with a changing economy. She works four thousand jobs, and drives Uber on her way to each of her four thousand jobs. She works ninety–five million hours a week, so that she can pay for her children to go to college. She is America, and she is a hero. As President, I want to make sure Tanya only has to work two thousand jobs.’ Sure, he didn’t actually say this, he just may as well have. Mayor Pete does not feel any need to deal with the structures of American society, because they’ve done pretty well by Mayor Pete. And, if you’re down on your luck (and by that what we mean is, your community does not have quality education, transportation, or just about anything!), just keep those hopes sky high! Put your hands up in the air! Wave them like things will just somehow get better!
For now, Mayor Pete is said to be ‘having his moment’, which actually means, has emerged as a place for big money to go in case the overtly senile Joe Biden is saved from himself and drops out of the race. He’s a place for the wealth to go, to feign progress by using the word hope instead, to prevent the sort of structural change being offered by someone like Bernie Sanders. Mayor Pete’s current polling average is less than ten percent, but already the media is fawning over him and acting like it’s inevitable that he’ll be there at the end. It is fitting that Pete’s stupid viral breakthrough came as people ironically shared a focus–group–tested choreographed dance. It’s just about the only thing that makes sense in all this. For now, Mayor Pete gets to enjoy national recognition, discussion of his viability as a President, and praise for his ability to speak other languages, all while his minions dance like fools. It’s just the sort of realization of high hopes that can make a man lose the understanding of why it’s happening, and why it’s not deserved. It’s all just a focus–group–tested choreographed dance. V