Chasten Buttigieg has become a Twitter phenomenon since his husband, South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, announced his candidacy for president. While Mayor Pete has deservedly been the focus, Chasten’s upbeat quips and stories from the campaign trail plus his tendency to share details of the couple’s home life have made him the most popular would-be First Spouse.

Over the weekend, Buttigieg, a junior high school teacher, posted a short thread to Twitter that should be required reading for adults. As the religious right has launched repeated attacks on his husband, his marriage, and his faith, he took time to remind his followers about the dangers of giving trolls and haters what they want the most – attention.

“Friends, it is important for you to know that you’ll never be enough for some people,” Buttigieg tweeted. “Never.”

“It’s a sad but important lesson that I always taught my middle schoolers. So ask yourself, why are you willing to take negative feedback from someone you never asked in the first place?”

“We can begin to immediately model what a healthier politics and society looks in the way we interact with others online. Sometimes that simply means not clicking ‘reply.’ Sometimes that means thinking deeply about whether our words are helpful, kind, and/or true before we do,” he continued.

“But part of discourse is coming to the table prepared to listen as well as speak. Prepare yourself for appropriate, kindly-stated feedback that asks you to re-examine or reconsider an opinion or statement. We should try our best to disagree with ideas, not people.”

Current First Lady Melania Trump has made online bullying her “signature” issue, but has been roundly criticized for the hypocrisy of her initiative since her husband is one of the web’s biggest bullies and trolls.


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