Beto O’Rourke will not become president

by Eduardo Merille

Fernando Fernández/Contributing Writer

Beto O’Rourke is simply too nice to be president

To the surprise of no one who pays attention to the U.S. political arena, Beto O’Rourke recently announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

Mr. O’Rourke, 46, is a former congressman from El Paso, Texas who recently ran an ultimately unsuccessful yet unexpectedly close campaign to unseat Senator Ted Cruz.

In that race, he astounded political experts everywhere by raising a colossal amount of money ($70 million to be exact) in, mostly, small-dollar donations and by losing, as a relatively progressive Democratic candidate, by a mere two-point-six percentage points in the lone star state.

Therefore, it was both fitting and inevitable that his name would be floated as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to take the incumbent Republican President — Donald J. Trump.

After all, if he came within striking distance of defeating an incumbent Republican Senator in the Republican bastion of Texas, couldn’t he easily defeat a historically loathed incumbent President?

Well, not quite.

Contrary to common belief in mainstream circles, Beto O’Rourke is by far and away the most un-electable candidate the Democratic Party could possibly nominate in 2020.

First and foremost, he is not firm in his beliefs and, so far, has not offered a policy platform that addresses the issues Americans care about the most.

For instance, on June 15th of 2017, Beto O’Rourke posted, on his Facebook page, a petition calling for ‘Medicare For All’ (a single-payer healthcare proposal).

As of a couple of days ago, he has since stated that he is “no longer sure that is the fastest way of getting us there (universal healthcare coverage)”.

In other words, he flip-flopped; and as we have seen with past presidential candidates who have challenged incumbent Presidents (John Kerry, Mitt Romney, etc.), that doesn’t work out so well.

But that’s not all. To make matters worse, he has yet to release a set of policy proposals to address the issues most Americans vote on.

In fact, when you click on his website there is no such thing; however, there is a link to numerous forms of campaign merchandise.

To win the presidency, any given candidate needs to offer the American people something to vote for.

Solely espousing cliché and platitudes, such as the ones espoused by Mr. O’Rourke the other day in Iowa, and stating that your opponent is bad does not exactly get you elected to the most powerful office in the world; especially when running against an incumbent President who, despite often being incredibly impulsive to his detriment, has a clear & unambiguous message, regardless of whether you believe that message is good or bad.

Now, admittedly, there is something quite admirable of offering a positive and optimistic message in a time when fear and anger tend to be the driving factor behind the political narrative.

After all, it did catapult Former President Obama to the presidency in 2008.

However, Beto O’Rourke is too nice.

What do I mean by that exactly?

Well, let’s take a look at ‘Exhibit A.’ During a debate with Sen. Ted Cruz, Beto O’Rourke called him by his infamous Trump-given nickname ‘Lyin’ Ted’.

Furthermore, he used the nickname to argue that his opponent was not trustworthy and was lying to Texans, resulting in an incredibly effective attack.

However, something happened — Beto O’Rourke blew it.

For no objective reason at all, Mr. O’Rourke effectively apologized to Sen. Cruz on national television during a ‘CNN town-hall’, erasing the entire effectiveness of the attack in the process.

With all due respect to Mr. O’Rourke, politics is, unfortunately, a dirty sport; and if he expects to defeat a Presidents who thrives by grotesquely bullying his opponents to oblivion, he can’t be afraid to clap back and attack.

However, given how he has run previous campaigns, and how he appears poised to run this one, it is very possible, if not likely, that he once again resorts to the sort of timidity that President Trump enjoys tearing down; ask Jeb Bush.

Thirdly, polls already indicate that O’Rourke is not a very electable general election candidate.

Ever since he announced his candidacy, polls seem to indicate that O’Rourke would face, at best, a challenging road to the presidency.

For instance, let’s take a look at two recently conducted Emerson polls.

The first one was conducted in the state of Wisconsin, a swing state which is critical to a candidate’s chances of winning.

Unfortunately for Mr. O’Rourke and his supporters, the poll shows him winning by only two percentage points, which is inside of the poll’s margin of error.

By comparison, Biden, Sanders, and Warren all beat the president by a comfortable margin that falls outside the margin of error.

However, perhaps the Emerson poll’s most indicative detail of Mr. O’Rourke’s un-electability is the second one.

The poll shows that, in a general election matchup, President Trump would actually beat Mr. O’Rourke by two percentage points.

Now, while that does indeed fall in the margin of error, it is not, by any means, a good sign for the O’Rourke campaign; especially since other candidates beat the President.

Finally, Mr. O’Rourke is the embodiment of everything that catapulted President Trump to the presidency in 2016.

The lack of policy substance, the troubling voting record, the lack of appeal to the mid-west, his cozy relationship with the elite & the corporate mainstream press, are all things which contributed to Hillary Clinton’s historic loss to President Trump, plague Mr. O’Rourke and his nascent campaign.

President Trump won because Mrs. Clinton, in spite of having a vastly more comprehensive plan than his opponent, resorted too often to meaningless & vague cliché and platitudes. So does Mr. O’Rourke.

President Trump won because Mrs. Clinton had a troubling voting record, and overall political career, that embodied everything the American people hate about the status-quo.

So does Mr. O’Rourke, who voted against his own party numerous times in favor Wall Street-friendly bills, and is fawned over by the corporate mainstream press.

He is not firm in his beliefs and is comforting to the elite.

President Trump won because Mrs. Clinton had a troubling history with regards to “free-trade,” which decimated the midwestern states that President Trump carried in 2016. So does Mr. O’Rourke, who voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Quite simply, Beto O’Rourke is not a candidate that can defeat President Trump.

Like many in his party, he is resorting to an old political playbook from the eighties and nineties, that no longer works in the modern political climate, which favors strong, authentic populists.

Although many progressives, such as myself, would ultimately back him if he were to win the nomination, to do their best to defeat the President, many would not vote or even vote for the President simply because of their anger at a failed status-quo and classical politicians, like Mr. O’Rourke, who have and would continue to sustain it.

A Beto O’Rourke nomination would almost certainly ensure President Trump’s re-election, which would, in turn, depresses and worry many Americans, including yours truly.

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo retrieved from FIU Flikr

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