Pete Buttigieg says GOP falling in ‘delicious’ trap: ‘Coca-Cola, Disney and Bud Light are on the other side’

In an increasingly polarised political environment, Buttigieg expressed hope about common ground in America, in part thanks to the GOP

Ariana Baio
Friday 19 May 2023 10:11 BST
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Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said there’s something “delicious” about far-right members of Congress positioning themselves against corporations that promote diversity or progressive ideas as he believes it unites most Americans who are on the other side of the fence.

Despite what seems like an increasingly polarised political environment, Mr Buttigieg expressed hope about common ground in America, in part thanks to the GOP, while speaking with Wired.

Over the last few years, several notable right-wing members of Congress have blasted companies like Bud Light, Disney, Coca-Cola and American Express for promoting inclusivity.

Speaking specifically to the Coca-Cola Company being called “woke” for protesting voter suppression laws in Georgia, Mr Buttigieg said, “There’s something delicious about the way that [Senator Ted Cruz] and the rest of them have positioned themselves on one side of the fence.”

“And Netflix, Coca-Cola, Disney and Bud Light are on the other side. Along with most of America,” Mr Buttigieg added.

Recently, anti-transgender people called for a boycott against Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, after they included a transgender woman in their advertising.

Over the last year, Disney has been targeted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for openly criticising his legislation suppressing LGBTQ+ rights in the state.

But many have publicly mocked Mr DeSantis for going after the massive corporation due to their conflicting beliefs.

Mr Buttigieg seemingly pointed to the backlash, similar to the kind Mr DeSantis is facing, as an example of many Americans advocating for progressive ideas.

“There may in fact be a center of gravity in this country that includes both a Democratic majority of the American people, and even something of a consensus, at least among mainstream business leaders,” Mr Buttigieg said.

“We have certain commitments around democracy and inclusion that are really elemental to the whole system,” he added.

In the interview, Mr Buttigieg said that while the two goals of the “mainstream right” were to “prevent legal access to abortion and to sustain lower taxes for the wealthy” they had to make “a lot of distasteful bargains” to get there.

He cited coming after the US military as an example.

“Sometimes the military—the military, of all institutions—comes under attack from the far right. On ideological grounds. Yet another front in the culture war,” Mr Buttigieg said.

“You can only put yourself on the wrong side of so many red, white, and blue American institutions, and the question becomes, Is this about you?”

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