Pete Buttigieg speaks to the media at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Pete Buttigieg speaks to the media at the Charleston Gaillard Center on February 25, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Photo: Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg deleted a tweet overnight that attempted to belittle both Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the “revolutionary politics” of the U.S. during the 1960s. It’s not immediately clear why the tweet was deleted, especially since the exact same sentiment was echoed by Buttigieg at the Democratic debate in South Carolina on Tuesday.

“We can’t afford a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump with his nostalgia for the social order of the 1950's and Bernie Sanders with his nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960's. #DemDebate,” Buttigieg tweeted on Tuesday night.

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The tweet was deleted, but is still available by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Buttigieg made the exact same point on the debate stage Tuesday night, where he slammed both Donald Trump and Senator Sanders, hoping to draw a straight line between the ideologically opposed men.

In fact, the language Pete used was identical to his tweet, as you can see in CBS News video from last night.

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“And I am not looking forward to a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump, with his nostalgia for the social order of the 1950s, and Bernie Sanders, with a nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s,” Buttigieg said. “This isn’t about what coups were happing in the 1970s or 80s, this is about the future.”

The so-called “revolutionary politics” of the 1960s gave the U.S. everything from Medicare to the women’s rights movement to the Civil Rights Act of 1964—the key piece of legislation that made illegal at the federal level for Jim Crow laws of the American South to discriminate based on race. And that’s to say nothing of the Stonewall uprising of 1969, when LGBT Americans fought back against police brutality of their community in New York.

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People were marching in the streets for change in the 1960s, including a young Bernie Sanders, who was arrested at a Civil Rights demonstration at the University of Chicago in 1963.

Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has gotten flak for some bizarre political mistakes in recent weeks, but this may be the weirdest yet. At 38 years old, he wasn’t around to see the 1960s and the constant struggle that was necessary to gain rights for so many people in the U.S. But Buttigieg’s entire schtick is claiming that he’s the young, smart one in the room; a guy who has a pragmatic approach to politics and can speak eight languages.

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Mayor Pete’s firm grasp of languages is now in serious doubt, but so is his “pragmatic approach” to political strategy these days. However imperfect the 1960s was as a decade, it was an era of much-needed change in the U.S. And if you’re going to knock the “revolutionary politics” of the 1960s, you clearly have no place in the Democratic Party.

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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