Last week, I was flying to Washington DC on Southwest Airlines with a layover in Dallas. I was en route to the Hispanic Wealth Project Policy Forum at the Urban Institute and looking forward to seeing my friends and colleagues from around the country. While I was boarding in Dallas, my daughter, who was flying with me, jabbed her elbow into my side and subtly pointed towards a skinny guy in a baseball cap that was also boarding. It was none other than Beto O’Rourke the former senatorial candidate from Texas, who even though did not win, ran such an inspiring campaign that he became a nationwide household name. O’Rourke, who is Irish, grew up in heavily Hispanic El Paso, speaks fluent Spanish and was given the common Mexican nickname of “Beto” when he was a child. His political rivals accused him of “pretending to be Latino” in order to win favor with Hispanic voters, which was ridiculous. In my view, his nickname had almost nothing to do with his popularity. Beto was simply the antithesis of everything that is wrong with politics today. He was genuine, intelligent, and refused to get into the gutter with personal attacks. His speech on why he supports Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest was vintage Beto. O’Rourke lost to Ted Cruz in a solid red state by less than two percentage points. As he was walking through the airplane aisle, I stopped him and congratulated him on running an amazing campaign and let him know that I hope to see him competing again soon. He put his bag down, shook my hand and thanked me. Later I read on Twitter that he was in town to meet with Barack Obama. Some think he is gearing up for a 2020 presidential run. Whether it is Beto or someone else, I just hope we get a candidate who campaigns on a message that brings people together rather than tearing them apart, who speaks to our virtues rather than our fears, and who understands that the fate of the planet relies directly on the United States of America being the moral leader of the free world.
Inflation has impacted all of us. The price of almost everything has spiked faster and harder than at any time since the 80s. Few things can obliterate a modern economy more than out-of-control inflation.
For most people, there is little upside to writing about the January 6th hearings, but as you probably know by now, I don’t worry about those things. We all must stand for something. The hearings have almost everyone taking sides before a single witness is called. Democrats believe that the events of January 6th were a calculated effort to undermine our democracy by demolishing two of the most sacred tenants of our nation, free elections, and the peaceful transition of power.
Most people consider themselves either a conservative or a liberal. I think if we forget political parties, which flip their positions on things all of the time, and instead focus on the actual definition of what it means to be a conservative and what it means to be a liberal, we might be able to temper the emotional reactions some of us have with political discourse.