I come from a country where politics are a part of you whether you embrace them or not. I come from a country where understanding politics is not an option, but something that comes rather natural within our people. I come from Venezuela, a country where the left-wing regime brought what once was the richest, most prosperous country to its knees with the promise of “equality” behind the utopian concept of socialism. This part of me I can’t detach from who I am, not that I would want to, anyway. So everywhere I go, I take it with me, and I try to use it both to raise awareness of my country’s situation, as well as to prevent, within my limits, a tragedy similar to what happened in Venezuela, from repeating in other countries.
As a future journalist, accurately informing is my mission. Because of this, I decided to attend last week’s rallies in Longview- to form my own opinion, and to see what options there are for this country. I was present in Beto O’Rourke’s rally, as I was in Ted Cruz’: After an entire day of listening to fallacies and insults, I have to ask: Is this really the best that the United States of America has to offer the people of Texas?
First, I’d like to thank O’Rourke’s team, who received my classmate and me with great enthusiasm after a press conference was scheduled. However, to my disappointment, after I asked O’Rourke his stance on left-wing dictatorships (such as those from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Venezuela)- and how this related to his liberal policies on illegal immigration, he failed to show how his left-wing ideologies are any different from these. Furthermore, he failed to provide me, and those who have the same question as me, with a sincere, judicious response. Mr. O’Rourke- I sincerely don’t understand how “being a Texan, an American” is, in your world, an antonym of socialism.
Regarding his campaign, I can see how he has managed to earn people’s support. Beto O’Rourke has promised things that sound beautiful, especially when spoken by an amazing speaker. I can see why people fancy the idea of a community accepting of LGBT people, because I myself support this. I can see why people fancy the idea of socialized medicine, because what kind of monster would say that there’s such a thing as people more deserving of medical treatment than others? I can see why people fancy the idea of equality in the state of Texas. Yet, what I fail to see is how Beto O’Rourke’s strategies for achieving this would work. My advice would be grabbing a history textbook and finding out what happened to those countries where governments ever promised “equality”. Also, reading the news and doing some research on the actual situation of countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela would be a great way to understand that regimes who speak so highly of equality have been proven to be the cancer of society; and is politicians’ favorite method for groups to become rich, while driving the country to poverty and misery. I admire O’Rourke’s passion to include minorities in society; I even applaud it and wish that, should he become Texas’ senator, he knows how to carry out his ideas in a successful manner.
Regarding Ted Cruz’ rally, I sincerely don’t understand how being uncivil, chauvinistic and discriminatory toward ideas and opinions that differ from their standards, makes them the adequate representatives for the state of Texas. There is nothing admirable about being within the same four walls as a group of people who, in a vast majority, have no respect whatsoever for anyone who is not “white,” Republican, or simply, for anyone who works in the media field. I don’t feel the need to tell the story of how I, being a reporter, and the photographer who was with me, felt attacked by those who claim to understand what being a “true American” means as a result of these variables I just mentioned. Nevertheless, I do find it necessary to stress that this is not the smartest way to persuade people to vote for you. I also find it necessary to remark that not because one candidate is, according to certain explicit posters we saw, not fit enough to do a job, this makes the opponent any more apposite. Cruz’ rally was a campaign of hatred and humiliation. Although he does have a clear vision and understanding of what needs to be done to improve fundamental aspects of the economy, I don’t think a little tolerance and respect toward those who disagree can be a bad thing.
I feel the need to emphasize how the Republican party’s hatred toward media outlets such as CNN has gone completely out of hands, to the point where they discriminate whatever resembles a journalist, if only from a college newspaper. The truth here is that there will always be news reports more biased or less accurate than others; however, this is in no way a fair reason to express loathing toward those who dedicate themselves to this field. Republicans: In this aspect, we are just as worthy of respect as any human being who has a mission in life and wakes up every morning determined to pursue it.
After witnessing both rallies, I saw good and bad on both sides. After witnessing both rallies, I confirmed that there is no such thing as clean politics. After witnessing both rallies, I am intrigued as to how this decision that belongs to the Americans of Texas will affect the state; for, after witnessing both rallies, I know it’s not an easy choice to make. Is this really the best that the United States of America has to offer the people of Texas?
By Adriana Cisneros Emerson
Photos by Catie Denfeld