Many Americans believe if you work hard, you’ll achieve you goal. If you didn’t become a millionaire after growing up poor and working all the time, well you just didn’t work hard enough. If you didn’t become a CEO or managing partner at a firm, you obviously did not put the work in. If you spend months visiting every county in a state to campaign for public office and don’t win, I guess you weren’t working very hard. We assume that if someone is successful it is because they worked hard, not because their father gave them a small loan. This work ethic and ideal are very American and something we as a country should take pride in. There’s just one problem, a stellar work ethic guarantees you nothing and the country will be the first to let you know.
We tell kids that if they work hard, they’ll achieve their dreams. Let’s agree to stop bullshitting kids into thinking they’ll become whatever they want if they work hard enough. Hard work alone does not always yield results. Opportunity plays a key role in success. Many folks are fortunate enough to work hard, see an opportunity and progress forward. For some, this reality will never be realized because they are not even afforded an opportunity to move forward slightly. Fortunately, they receive representation in the government that is supposed to help address issues of disparity in one way or another. These representatives have the power take the issues of their constituents to higher level until issues are finally addressed; education, access to health care, gun reform, minimum wage, just to name a few barriers to mobility. Imagine, a world where elected officials care about social issues and how they impact opportunity for Americans. A candidate like this does not ex-
Remember when Beto O’Rourke ran for Senate against Ted Cruz?
Robert O’Rourke of El Paso, Texas (not to be confused with actual Mexico) was the progressive Texas needed. Here are just some highlights of Texas’ not leader Beto:
- Visited 254 counties in Texas (so all of them)
- Raised $70.2 M for his campaign without accepting any PAC cash
- Probably sparked a historically high midterm voter turnout in Texas
- Sponsored the “Honor Our Commitment Act”, an expansion for veterans’ access to mental health care
- Ran a clean campaign (even though Ted Cruz is a goldmine of content for mudslinging)
- Played in a punk rock band
- Founded a web development company (Stanton Street)
Despite the various ways he’s exhibited hard work, from physically going everywhere in Texas, to not accepting money from a PAC, to working with his GOP counterparts to help military veterans, Beto still could not manage to push Ted Cruz out of office. Beto is a man of the people, yet even he could not get in with the right people. Interestingly enough, had he won the opportunity for many people to thrive would have intersected with their hard work. However, he just took a big L and Ted Cruz will carry on representing Texas and lusting after Donald Trump’s job, it’s fine, I didn’t want a senator who put the needs of his constituents before his career goals. Caring too much is a burden that elected officials shouldn’t have to carry, because their position is ultimately about them moving ahead in their career. If you start to care about brown people, then you might start to care about gay people, which may lead to caring about women and after you treat all of these peoples’ rights like they’re equal, our society as we know it might collapse.
I think I would be less displeased by the outcome had Ted Cruz put an iota of the amount of effort Beto did into just campaigning. I’m very much about principles, so when you juxtapose their campaigns it just grinds my gears. Beto put all this work in to not win, Ted put almost no work in and will continue to kind of be a leader. Ted literally ran a few TV ads, which basically said why Texans should not vote for Beto (my personal favorite addressed Beto’s take on police brutality). He partook in some debates, but wasn’t really trying to engage the people of Texas. Basically, Ted ran a lazy campaign and people still voted for him because he’s a Republican. Jokes on you, you’re lazy if you vote for a candidate just because of party affiliation. And if Ted’s willing to not do much work just for the elected position, imagine how little work he’ll do representing Texans. That may be fine for folks who voted because they saw that R next to his name, but that’s not good enough for me. Our country deserves elected officials who will actually do work, therefore we need to do our part and note just elect people because they have a D or R next to their name on the ballot.
Much can be learned from this thrilling senate race even after its conclusion. Despite the outcome, it was fascinating to follow and now all of woke America is wondering what Beto will do next…