It felt only fitting to write this up today when Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced he was ending his 2020 Presidential campaign. I was not supporting him in this race and wasn’t planning on giving him my vote, but his name will always hold a special place in my heart.
I volunteered for Beto (I’m assuming we’re on a first name basis) in the 2018 mid-term elections. I don’t live in Texas so it was all remote work, but nevertheless, it was the first mid-term I was ever excited about. That is largely because of him. I worked for him for 2 reasons. First, because Ted Cruz doesn’t deserve to be in the Senate. Second, because I believed and still believe in his core values.
He did not win that race, but come on y’all. He lost by like two points. In Texas. Against Ted Cruz. He made Texas a battleground state and the way he ran his Senate campaign was truly *chefs kiss.*
So now we are here. Throughout his Presidential bid, I have not been super on board. Not because of anything he did or didn’t do, I just thought other candidates were stronger. With that being said, though, no candidate in this race is or has been stronger on the issue that has my heart: gun violence.
I’m a youth activist so you better believe I have been involved in the gun violence prevention movement for quite a while. I actually remember the day I joined the fight for common sense gun legislation. It was the day Christina Grimmie was murdered. She was a huge role model to me and when the Orlando shooting happened right after, it was just ridiculous. It continues to be ridiculous.
People in the Democratic Party, even some of my closest friends, have criticized Beto’s gun reform plan, more specifically his mandatory buyback program. While I still waffle on that particular policy, I can say one thing for sure: Beto O’Rourke had it right on gun violence.
He was right when he said “hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s” which by the way, I still think is the bravest thing to happen so far in this election. He was right to demand a more engaged discourse on gun violence. He was right to use profanity and take bold stances on the issue. He was SO right to endorse the March For Our Lives Peace Plan and be the only candidate to do so. That takes guts. Listening to young people is always risky to campaigns, but endorsing their plan? It’s almost like we matter!!!
Maybe what he said about AR-15s was not the most politically well-versed or great for his long-term candidacy. Maybe it wasn’t even a realistic goal. As a young person, though, it meant something to me. I have yet to see another candidate be so honest about gun violence. I hope it rubs off.
His plans with immigration, education, and racial justice were all very strong as well. God I hope he runs for Senate again. I know that’s selfish because running for President probably requires a huge ass nap afterwards, but I can’t live with the idea that he is done with politics. I’m so excited about him and his values. Also WHO IS GONNA SPEAK FLUENT SPANISH IN THE DEBATES? Like I know Cory Booker can, but *tears up* it’s not the same.
I was never a Beto for America supporter. Like I said, I never planned on voting for him. I just believe that we all owe him a debt of gratitude and I’m really gonna miss him dominating the debates.
But like if he ever wants to run again in Texas, he has one big fat yee haw from this 17-year-old gun reform activist.
Beto O’Rourke thank u 🖤🖤