Today, Americans woke up to the news of yet another massacre at the hands of a domestic terrorist while children were attempting to get an education. Once again, legally purchased weapons of destruction were used to fulfill the murderous fantasies of a disturbed white male.
This time tragedy struck in the great state of Texas, whose Republican Senator Ted Cruz has an A+ rating from the NRA and has accepted thousands of lobbying dollars from the domestic terrorist organization over the years.
Cruz offered a predictable response on his Twitter this morning:
Heidi and I are keeping all the students and faculty at Santa Fe High School in our prayers this morning, along with all first responders on the scene. Please be safe and heed warnings from local officials. https://t.co/5Un3Y4IA86
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) May 18, 2018
“Heidi and I are keeping all the students and faculty at Santa Fe High School in our prayers,” Lyin’ Ted tweeted. Of course, if prayers worked, the 10 dead people wouldn’t have been shot in the first place.
Pretty certain no mother sends their kid off to school after a morning prayer of, “Please protect my children unless it’s a gun because my Second Amendment right is far more important.”
Thankfully, Cruz is up against a major contender this fall who just might be able to unseat the incumbent senator.
Beto O’Rourke has run an incredible campaign in Texas so far, and almost all of his financial contributions come from small donors and not super PACs.
After an initial tweet this morning acknowledging the massacre and expressing gratitude to first responders, O’Rourke penned a larger op-ed for Medium and tweeted it out Friday afternoon:
Either we accept this or we act. That’s it. That's the choice before us. https://t.co/fn3W5q70jk
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 18, 2018
“We’re still learning more, but we know that students went to school this morning and didn’t make it to the end of the day. Didn’t make it to graduation, didn’t make it to the rest of their lives,” he writes, lamenting yet another senseless mass loss of civilian lives.
The empathy of which O’Rourke is capable should make Cruz squirm more than anything he’s said on the campaign trail so far. But it’s the action he promises if elected which is truly inspiring.
“Either we accept this, and continue to be sorry, and prayerful and thoughtful. Or we act. That’s it.”
O’Rourke calls out the 535 members of Congress who represent 320 million people, reminding anyone reading that the constituents hold the power in this country, not the politician.
“Each member responsible for representing the interests of this country, of people, of human beings, of kids. Not responsible for PACs or lobbies, corporations or special interests. Not responsible for the next election.”
After imploring action on behalf of “the kids who died today [and] for the kids too scared to go to school on Monday,” he launches into eight separate paragraphs proving how many common-sense reforms are already in existence which our Republican-strangled Congress and Senate refuse to touch.
From the commonly discussed universal background checks or support for federal research into the epidemic of gun masscres to the newly concocted Red Flag Laws, O’Rourke shows Cruz how it looks when you represent the people and not your own pocket.
He also acknowledges that all solutions have flaws, and nothing is a guaranteed fix, but that shouldn’t hinder the pursuit of a better world.
“Any hesitation I have in stepping forward is overwhelmed by the justice demanded by the daily tragedy of gun violence. Any question on how to lead has been answered by gun violence survivors, young people, high school students who are already leading us (forcing us) towards the difficult, important conversation that this country owes them, owes all of us.”
The fresh, new blood pumping through the veins of a Democratic Party once behest to the centrist ideology which alienated so many in its core is nothing short of refreshing. Particularly when that blood flows to fix a broken system instead of maintaining the status quo.
Beto O’Rourke skewered Cruz’s response to this morning’s tragedy, but Cruz is still in power until November. Don’t allow any facet of the news cycle to distract for even a second from the work which still needs to be done to truly make this country great.
In short: be a Beto O’Rourke, not a Ted Cruz.