The future of the Democratic Party is not congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, it is Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s seat. Yes, Ocasio-Cortez’s face can be seen everywhere, both on conservative and liberal media outlets, but she inhabits a state where the rules of political gravity don’t seem to apply. She can say anything without any real consequences.
The same goes for Cynthia Nixon from “Sex and the City” and incumbent Andrew Cuomo competing in New York’s gubernatorial race, trying to best the other in hating Trump. The same also goes for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who marched with a terrorist at a local parade. It also goes for Sen. Corey “Spartacus” Booker, in neighboring New Jersey, the bad-boy senator who released “confidential” documents that had actually been released the previous day.
In the real world, where two parties actively compete against one another in Texas, a state with a future, O’Rourke is the real future of the Democratic Party. His image is of a friendly, decently handsome (for a politician, anyway), somewhat young candidate with the common touch. But in reality, he is yet another member of the progressive herd with no new ideas, no personality, and minimal experience. The most interesting things about him are his DUI and time with a punk rock band. But that won’t stop the press and fellow Democrats from lionizing him and deigning him the next Kennedy or Obama.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. O’Rourke is the Texan sequel to the Georgian Democrat Jon Ossoff who lost spectacularly in Georgia’s congressional election last year. The two men even look the same! More importantly, O’Rourke receives the majority of his funding from outside of Texas—although he likes to brag that he runs a true grassroots campaign (maybe if the grass is Californian or New Yorker). He is accordingly hyped to the moon, with conservatives and liberals alike mentioning his irresistible charisma, what with all the money he’s able to raise.
Unfortunately for O’Rourke, the laws of political gravity still work in Texas. Anyone who feared his rise should take solace in last Friday’s debate, where the real man came into focus. Instead of the “rock star” everyone was expecting, what people saw was another Democrat serving up another tasteless helping of boilerplate. While it remains to be seen what will happen in November, it is clear from the O’Rourke-Cruz debate that media-fabricated charisma is no match for experience, superior arguments, and a successful record.
In many ways, the debate between Cruz and O’Rourke resembled the debates on health care between Cruz and Bernie Sanders. Cruz offered specifics and stayed on the offense while his opponent defended himself with weak generalities, denials, and obvious deflections. One might forgive Bernie, a deluded octogenarian socialist, but O’Rourke, the man who has conquered Dallas’s front lawns with his black and white signs, deserves no such lenience.
This lasted from the very beginning of the debate to the end. The moderators asked about police violence, and Cruz rightly pointed out O’Rourke has joined the other Democrats in demonizing the police as racists intent on killing unarmed black men. Cruz quoted O’Rourke’s view that police were “the new Jim Crow.” O’Rourke then lied, saying he hadn’t actually said this, and pointed out that there were a lot of black men in jail, a statistic that is somehow supposed to prove something.
This tied into the selection of justices and the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Cruz said he would wait for more (or any) evidence. O’Rourke deflected by muttering about the legitimacy of Roe v. Wade and Cruz’s part in appointing other judges with questionable records. This came out of left field, went nowhere, and Cruz wisely ignored it.
At Cruz’s behest, this discussion then tied into his support of the 2nd Amendment both as a lawyer and senator, and O’Rourke’s constant opposition to it, even in regards to schools having armed guards. When asked to respond, O’Rourke provoked laughter from the audience when he lamely contended that he did support the 2nd Amendment and learned to shoot a gun once.
On the subject of immigration and amnesty for younger foreigners, Cruz stated plainly that he doesn’t support illegal immigration, unlike his opponent. O’Rourke responded blandly that immigrants work hard and told a story about an immigrant student who returned to her home country after graduating as the salutatorian of the class—presumably because she was illegal, although this wasn’t clear.
On health care, Cruz reminded everyone just how bad Obamacare was and what he proposed in place of it to maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions. O’Rourke told another sad but unhelpful story about a kid struggling with cancer and said health care was important.
Cruz then redirected the debate again and cited O’Rourke’s stupidity in favoring legalizing all narcotics. This seemed unnecessary, but it gave Cruz a chance to show his openness to legalizing marijuana and mention his sister’s overdose. O’Rourke mentioned a few people who could use some medicinal marijuana and ignored his previous proposal to end the war on drugs by declaring them all okay.
Even on the juicier subjects of Cruz’s about-face with Trump, Cruz came off much better than O’Rourke did. He made the obvious point that his job is to work with the president, not maintain private grievances and impede the GOP’s agenda. O’Rourke, sticking to his script and apparently not paying attention, repeated the cherished liberal narrative of Trump colluding with Russia and the need to impeach Trump.
For the sake of impartiality, the next juicy question was on O’Rourke’s DUI, a subject that Cruz curiously ignored. O’Rourke exculpated himself by lying about his trying to flee the scene and telling yet another story about having second chances and, oddly enough, white privilege. It was unclear whether he said this to show his humility or somehow identify with the people of color who don’t enjoy such privileges. It was awkward.
Taxes and tariffs came up as well. O’Rourke, citing his impressive experience as a city council member and small-business owner, attacked tax cuts, and by extension rich people, and criticized Trump’s trade wars because of his conversations with Texan pecan farmers. All Cruz had to do in response was point out that O’Rourke supports higher taxes and that Trump was making progress on the tariff front. To be fair, an endorsement for free trade and fiscal responsibility is always welcome—for Republicans, not Democrats.
By the end, it was clear Cruz had won the debate and was a much better candidate than O’Rourke, who could do little more than repeat countless times that he has visited all 254 counties.
Of course, anyone reading the spin and listening to O’Rourke’s fans in the audience would think that O’Rourke is as strong as ever. He’s not. He’s an empty liberal enjoying biased puff pieces and offering no ideas. At least Wendy Davis, Texas’s last Democratic hopeful, sported pink shoes and showed some spunkiness—in regards to killing babies in the womb. Witnessing her defeat was a pleasure. Seeing O’Rourke defeated fails to bring the same kind of satisfaction. The guy seems nice enough, but he’s just another Democrat.
Cruz, on the other hand, is truly a leader of his party and himself. Yes, he looks like Kevin from “The Office” and has an irritating nasally voice, but he is one of the best people at articulating conservative policies, creating conservative legislation, and modeling conservative values. Unlike other Republicans, he is not a squish, and certainly not boring—his campaign videos were hilarious.
Still, conservative pundits and GOP strategists wring their hands and bemoan the incoming blue wave and threatening demographics. Perhaps they think that fear will bring out Republican voters. This is foolishness: Democrats will only feel all the more assured of their support for O’Rourke, while Republicans will conclude that O’Rourke is not so bad after all and decide to stay home and leave Cruz out to dry.
Rather, conservatives should take heart in the facts that make Cruz the better candidate. Without resorting to underhanded tactics or lies, he won the debate for the conservatives and offered a plan for them to follow. He proved that the right has nothing to be insecure about. As the news continues to show, liberals at this point in time must rely on dirty tricks and partisan journalism to stay relevant. Everyone should take note, confront this silliness, and help the best person win.