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Texas, Your Vote Matters: The Case For Beto O’Rourke

Politics can be discouraging. Politicians can be discouraging and, quite frankly, infuriating. I’m aware of this. Hyper-aware, actually. This can be especially true when you live in a state like Texas. Growing up, I learned and observed that Texas was red, and was always going to be red. So then, why vote? I mean, my vote doesn’t count for the state, so why even?

Well this time, Texas, your vote DOES matter. There are some people who say their “get out and vote” message is for anybody. Just exercise your right to vote. I’m not saying that. This message on THIS blog is specifically toward those who identify as democrats/liberals, independents, or who are simply interested in getting Ted Cruz out. Period. That is where I am coming from. That is the audience I am speaking to.

Also, I am speaking to those who have become discouraged with politics, politicians, government, etc. Those who haven’t voted in a long time. This message is for you too. I believe that your right to vote is right up there with your right not to. In fact, I think the “stop being lazy” approach to nonvoters is a mistake on behalf of Democrats/liberals. I believe, instead, understanding the “why” behind the refusal to vote, or the active decision not to, and having an honest conversation about that is the appropriate approach.

I get it.

But Texas, THIS year – THIS year we have a chance to make something amazing happen.

Beto O’Rourke.

Admittedly, if I was going to vote for anybody in the midterm election, it would be a democrat. The “new” thing is that Beto has made me happy to cast that vote. Proud, even.

I work at a community college. We have a student organization who invited ALL politicians to come and speak. One responded. One came. And that was Beto O’Rourke. Outside of what he said, that spoke volumes to me. To understand the importance of reaching out to students who are so often ignored or counted out in the political process, to bring a message of humanity and encouragement, and to make an effort to address the concerns of that specific demographic – all of this spoke volumes to me. Not once did Beto get ugly. Not once did Beto speak negatively about his opponent. He didn’t even mention his name. He simply came and said what he was about. Period.

I see something special in Beto. I see sincerity. But more than that, I see a decent human being.

I think it is important for voters to know the positions of politicians. So here is me doing my part. Click here for Beto’s website. Below is me giving a plain English spill of his positions on major issues.

Education – Pay teachers. Don’t discriminate. Increase funding for low income/underserved communities.

Healthcare – Make it accessible. Make it affordable. It is a basic human right – for EVERYBODY.

Women’s Health – Improve it. And also, get out of our uterus. Grown women are capable of making the best decisions for our health and our bodies, no matter how you feel about it. You can do you, while I do me. Now everybody is happy.

Immigration – Give Dreamers permanent citizenship. We don’t need a wall. Invest in immigrants. Improve the process.

Criminal Justice – End the “war on drugs,” as it has become the “war on people of color.” Legalize weed (well the website says “End the federal prohibition on marijuana so I feel like it’s basically the same thing. He talked more about it in person and that’s what I got from it?). Putting people in jail for something that is legal in most states is ridiculous. Nonviolent offenders need access to help outside of prison time.  Get rid of private and for-profit prisons. Improve access to mental health services.

Energy/The Environment – Climate change is a thing.

Now. Let’s be honest. Let’s be realistic.

Beto is not going to be able to snap his fingers and get these things done. It’s not going to be easy. But it WILL be a start. And that is what we need. We need a START. We need a beginning.

My expectations of Beto O’Rourke in office?

To be a decent human being. That’s literally it.

I do not expect him to make magic happen. I expect him to stick to what he wants to do and fight like hell to get it done. And I wholeheartedly believe that is what he will do. He will TRY. That is all that can be expected of him.

I vote in national elections for my national interests, but the most important elections, in my opinion, are the local ones. The ones that set state policy. The ones that directly impact our pay, schools, criminal “justice” system, and higher education.

So yes, Texas. THIS TIME? Your vote matters. Texas doesn’t HAVE to stay red. It doesn’t. A lot of people aren’t trusting of the government, and I understand that. But the bottom line is that the government and politics impact us. It’s the only system we have. So why not try?

I am encouraging you to, again, learn more about Beto O’Rourke and give him a chance. That’s it. For we ALL have had to have someone take a chance on us. To just open the door, even when it seemed like the odds were against us. All we needed was – a chance.

Let’s give Beto the same.