The dashing Democratic former Congressman’s resurgence is on the rise again. But are his supporters, and opponents, only hearing what they want to hear?
There’s a very interesting ebb and flow going on as the Democratic field of presidential candidates continues to widen. The media seems to prop up the ‘flavor of the week’ as far as potential frontrunners go. But with 2019 being the year of No Expectations, it’s oddly expected that people’s dirty laundry is floating to the surface. It’s up to the American voters to decide what battles they choose to fight, and what they choose to pay attention to when it comes to electing a leader.
Beto O’Rourke pops in and out of the media tide. One minute, he’s splashed all over front pages (and Vogue covers), and becomes the lead story in a news show’s A block. He went on the backburner during the final week of March 2019 as allegations against Former Vice President Joe Biden became more than just hushed whispers. But Beto came back in a furious manner; Three rallies in Texas in one day, seeing an increase in crowd strength as the night went on.
This is not a guy conservatives should be dismissing so easily.
I’m not on any sort of Beto Train at the moment. I am a Trump voter, but I keep an open mind for the 2020 election. Someone could come along and surprise me. And while Beto surprises me in many ways, it’s not enough to give him my vote. Not yet, anyway.
Right now, Beto is taking a page from Trump’s playbook: he’s not giving media interviews and instead focusing on his campaign. He’s attempting to connect with the people, and it seems to be working for him. It’s what he’s doing right. What he’s doing wrong seems to be everything else.
Beto says a lot, but there’s very little depth there. He can talk a good game. If you sat and just listened to him, you may not think he’s all that bad. Sure, some of his ideas are radical in their own right, but he’s got a certain way about him that makes him just one of the guys who’s willing to fight for you. But the more you listen the more you realize he’s an ideasman; all talk, no action. When searching for Beto’s policies, I just found a lot of ideas, but no plans toward execution. In his recent rallies, he’s more comfortable flapping his arms and standing on various structures than he is attempting to outline specific policy plans. Maybe that’s not what rallies are meant to do, but laundry lists of “We’re gonna’s” can get old pretty quickly. Ideas are not policy, nor are they solutions. They’re just ideas. They become policy after the finish product is released.
However, Beto’s audience is much like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s audience – in that an idea is good enough to elevate someone to a national platform, and applaud them because of it.
Beto, like AOC, has what I like to call “pretty privilege.” They are physically attractive people who sort of “get a pass” when they flub their sentence or don’t make a whole lot of sense in a statement. People look at them with googly-eyes and fixate on the exterior so hard that they could tell you almost anything and an unassuming crowd would eat it up. It pains me to say it, but there’s a certain amount of fuckability these people give off that drives both men and women wild in different ways. The main drive for people to connect is to find someone who is first and foremost attainable. If someone can give off a vibe that they’re on “your level,” your mind may float off to what else someone can do for you. A lot of the time, this stays strictly in the mind, or the occasional weird Twitter post.
This isn’t cute. It’s cringey. And it’s working for Beto; The tucked-in pressed dress shirts, the casual style, the willingness to engage – it all seems so attainable and human. I say he should ditch the “Beto” and go full “Robert Francis” to really highlight the Kennedy comparisons. But if he doesn’t start laying out some real plans, he runs the risk of losing voters who have already taken a societal red pill and have had enough of hot-air and bullshit for one lifetime.
On the flip side, in 2019, conservative talking points include “winning” a lot. They love winning so much that they think 2020 can be won with memes, as was 2016. But we’re older, wiser, and less prone to flat out bullshit when it presents itself right under your nose. I want a challenge in 2020. I don’t want steamrolling anymore. It’s not as fun, and it just allows the snidest among us to be the main voices of a movement. That’s not winning, it’s being catty. 2020 is the time to put up or shut up, and right now, Beto is breaking out of his bubble a bit more than conservatives give him credit for. He’s shutting up and talking directly to a section of the population who want something fresh to breathe new life into their dying party. With Pete Buttigieg being largely ignored by the mainstream, Beto’s all they’ve got. And we have the choice of either mocking and dismissing, or taking notes and not underestimating the power of bullshittery anymore.
Conservatives need to heed the warning here: don’t assume your peers want to deep dive as much as you do. Sometimes, a pretty face and the right words are enough to get people out of their homes and cast a ballot.
And for the record, when it comes to Beto: No. I would not. Sorry not sorry.