North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily endorses Beto O’Rourke

The North Texas Daily endorses Beto O’Rourke

The North Texas Daily endorses Beto O’Rourke
November 03
12:00 2022

With the lives and wellbeing of our fellow students in mind, the North Texas Daily endorses Robert “Beto” Francis O’Rourke for governor of the state of Texas.

O’Rourke has shown explicit attentiveness to issues most directly affecting Texans and Dentonites throughout his campaign tour with advocacy for voting accessibility, gun safety, LGBTQ protections and abortion rights.

The ideologies behind both candidate’s policies reveal two options available for voters: acceptance or intolerance. Where O’Rourke’s immigration policy is centered around creating legal pathways for citizenship and more technologically advanced responses, Gov. Greg Abbott’s is focused entirely on “drug cartels and human traffickers,” seemingly framing immigrants as dangerous people rather than the significant part of Texan culture they are.

O’Rourke noted during his college tour at the university that he was “proud of Denton” for its marijuana legalization proposition, as the candidate seeks statewide legalization and expunging of records for those convicted of possession, a crime that harms no one. On the other hand, Gov. Abbott refused to follow President Joe Biden’s example in pardoning marijuana convictions.

Nowhere is Abbott’s out-of-touch response more obvious than at the border, where Operation Lone Star has cost Texas $4 billion while failing to solve any of the problems it set out to address. It has also pulled hundreds of soldiers into poor living conditions and caused a wave of suicides among soldiers that the governor dismissed as unrelated.

In contrast, much of the work O’Rourke did during his time in the House of Representatives was aimed at helping veterans, including sponsoring a suicide prevention act that ensures veteran services are providing proper treatment to their patients. Other bills O’Rourke co-sponsored include one that created committees focused on reducing maternal deaths.

Gov. Abbott has had seven years to enact positive change in Texas. Instead, he has done everything in his power to create a state where no one is safe. Abbott was eager to deliver a near total abortion ban a month before Roe v. Wade was overturned, stripping Texan women of their bodily autonomy.

The governor also has sought to tear transgender children away from their families, ordering state officials to investigate families of transgender youth for child abuse if they are receiving gender-affirming care. During Winter Storm Uri, the governor directed utility regulators to keep power prices at their max of $9,000 per megawatt hour, resulting in $10.1 billion in debt.

Beyond policy action, it is imperative voters go to the polls understanding the social implications of electing either candidate. A vote for Abbott is not just a vote for him but for the Republican Party of Texas as a whole. Empowering the Texan Republican Party is nothing short of dangerous, as their end goals would only further encourage inequality in the state. Their 2022 party platform advocates for the removal of hate crime charges, outlawing same-sex marriage and repealing the minimum wage.

Abbott and the party who supports him have made it clear they don’t care about women, the working class or queer people in Texas. O’Rourke may not be everyone’s ideal candidate, but as many conservative candidates call into question the legitimacy of our democracy, we must advocate for politicians who are not intentionally sowing discord into our communities.

Choosing O’Rourke to avoid the Republican party does not shy away the Democratic candidate from any accountability, nor does it make him ideal. It would be irresponsible to not acknowledge the precipice this election creates: Four more years of conservative ideology ruling the state will only further remove any hope for a more equitable or successful Texas.

It is true beyond the House of Representatives, O’Rourke lacks the level of experience the current governor had when he entered the role. Yet for all this experience,Abbott has only made Texas worse. We can already see the goals of both candidates: Gov. Abbott will continue to restrict Texans further while O’Rourke has the hearts of his constituents in mind.

The Daily endorses Beto O’Rourke as an imperfect candidate who will stand in the face of a greater injustice. Although O’Rourke may not solve all the problems Texas faces, his election is a large step in the right direction.

Featured image: Beto O’Rourke speaks to students in the Gateway Center on Oct. 3, 2022. Photo by Madeleine Moore

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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