John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and a rising star in the Democratic Party, isn’t a progressive. He says he’s just being honest.
By: Charles R. Davis (Originally published in Business Insider on November 25, 2020)
John Fetterman, the former mayor of Braddock, was elected lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania in 2018, beating out better-funded opponents.
He is not a democratic socialist, although he was a big supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and he doesn’t even like the label of “progressive.”
Fetterman, who lives in a remodeled Chevy dealership, believes his politics can best be described as honesty — honesty about the world in which billionaires receive tax cuts while working-class wages stagnate.
“If you’re willing to argue that $7.25 cents an hour is an appropriate or fair minimum wage, then you’re a liar. It’s outrageous. It’s despicable,” Fetterman said in an interview with Business Insider, referring to a federal minimum wage that hasn’t been raised since the last recession in 2009. “It condemns people to a life below poverty-line subsistence. It’s deeply un-American. It’s deeply unfair.”
“That’s not ‘progressive,’” Fetterman maintained. “That’s the f — -ing truth.”
There are several reasons why Fetterman is probably the first lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania that anyone outside the state could recognize. For one, he is physically hard to miss, standing at 6'8". He has also used the oft-anonymous position as a bully pulpit, typified by his displaying two flags outside his office in the state capitol of Harrisburg promoting two causes that are important to him: LGBTQ+ rights and marijuana, which he would have like to have legalized yesterday. (The state’s Republican legislature, peeved by the display, recently voted to have the flags removed.)