Beto O’Rourke: We’re all in this together

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Alexander Helmer

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It’s only 546 days until the next Presidential Election (I know, so close), but it might be one of the most imperative and sought after elections in years. After the embarrassment for Democrats in the conclusions of the Mueller Report, Liberals will undeniably be looking forward to 2020. It’s been over 800 days since Donald Trump took office and 19 Democrats (so far) have made it public that they will be competing to become America’s next chief of state-and the next subject of torment for Trump. Of the 22 candidates running, there are only a handful who actually have a decent chance of defeating Trump: Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Beto O’Rourke. However, if the American people want a strong leader with a substantial intellect, a clean slate, and progressive policies, Beto is the way to go.

Since his November of 2018 Texas Senate loss to Ted Cruz in which he lost by just over 2 percentage points (the closest Texas Senate race since 1978), O’Rourke has been one of the most buzzed-about Democratic candidates. It’s this narrow defeat in a very conservative state that’s enough proof that O’Rourke is a formidable candidate. However O’Rourke didn’t just lose by a narrow margin, he raised more than $38 million (which broke fundraising records) in the final quarter of his campaign which was more than three times what Cruz raised during the quarter. In fact, Harris County (where Houston is located) saw a voter turnout by more than 500,000 compared to 2014. In the entire state of Texas, there was a voter turnout of 3.7 million more than in 2014.

O’Rourke’s popularity in urban areas and within young people is favorable, however, what’s even more exceptional is O’Rourke’s popularity with the Latinx Community. With Trump’s infamous attempts to build the wall, we need a leader who can reach out to the Latino Community and persuade them to vote for the Democratic side so they can be assured that the leader of the country will give everyone, no matter their ethnic background, a fair chance at a great life. O’Rourke has proven that he can confront this due to the fact that he is a Spanish-speaker and represented a district with a large Latino population in Congress where he defeated a Latino incumbent.

A very important quality of O’Rourke, which causes people to compare him to Obama and Kennedy, is his charisma. It’s his ability to command and rally a crowd while motivating and inspiring them that makes him a perfect role model (something that we’ve been missing from our current President). Although Trump has those similar qualities of being able to rally and unite a crowd, he does it using chants like “Lock her up” and “Build the wall” which promotes hate.

O’Rourke is also a big people person. Unlike other candidates who seem like luminary figures, O’Rourke has no problem giving people an inside look at his life while also not being afraid of just speaking with them like an average person. This is illustrated in his notorious Facebook and Instagram live videos where he’s been shown eating breakfast with his kids which displays another side of O’Rourke that isn’t all about politics and is more focused on family, and in a video where he promoted his pro-immigration policies to his dentist while being operated on.

Moreover, it will actually be an asset that O’Rourke’s ideologies are very similar to those of other candidates. With Biden throwing his hat into the race, O’Rourke’s youthfulness can differentiate himself from Biden for the moderate voters. O’Rourke can receive support from those voters who’re worried about Bernie Sanders’ “socialist” views because of his more suppressed economic ideologies.

The main threat to O’Rourke seems to be the uprising and increasing public awareness of Pete Buttigieg. Butigieg is the youngest candidate in the Democratic field, extremely intelligent, and is the only openly gay candidate. The advantage of O’Rourke’s youthfulness will not come into play when compared to Buttigieg because (although young compared to the other candidates) O’Rourke is 9 years older than the former South Bend mayor. The main advantage that O’Rourke over Buttigieg is that he actually served in Congress for six years and was able to prove himself in the Texas Senate race, Buttigieg hasn’t ever run for any elite government positions.

When the time comes we will all know a bit more about each candidate in the field, however, as it stands, O’Rourke is what America desperately needs. What we can all agree with as that the Democrats can’t be divided in a time like this and with whatever candidate is chosen, we must encourage new and moderate voters along with current members of our party to come together and defeat our common enemy. •