As the Presidential election season approaches it seems as though every day, Americans are scrolling through their Facebook and news feeds to discover that yet another democrat is running, preparing to take on Trump in the 2020 election. As we look at the ever-growing list of potential democratic nominees, the task of giving each candidate an honest chance and looking through their policy proposals and records seems daunting. A few of the candidates however, are of course standing out more than others.
Beto O’Rourke became a household name in the 2018 midterm elections, shocking the world when he ran an incredibly close Senatorial race against powerful Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. Unsurprisingly to some I’m sure, Beto has decided to run with his newfound popularity and recently added his name to the list of Democrats vying for a chance at the White House.
Young, handsome, and energetic, the mainstream media has been captivated by Beto from the very beginning, which I’m sure was a large factor in his decision to run for President. His grassroots efforts during the Senate race coupled with the poll numbers made him an incredibly interesting and refreshing candidate for democratic voters in Texas and around the country.
After his policies took center stage nationally, it was clear that Beto was not everything he claimed to be. While he undeniably would have been an incredible improvement for Texas, his policies and records were pretty unimpressive to say the least. His voting record was centrist at best, and his pockets have since been lined with money from pharmaceutical companies and oil companies. He does not pretend to be in favor of radical change to improve our climate health like the Green New Deal, but simply going back to the Paris Climate Accords instead. Disappointingly, he has also continuously walked back his support for Medicare for All.
With his name now in the spotlight and the mainstream media eagerly pointing to him as a frontrunner, there is no more hiding the fact that Beto is frankly just an empty shell. When asked by GQ magazine why he has decided to run for President, he offered no substantive response about issues that really mattered to him, and why he thought he was the best one to lead the charge to fix them. Instead, he said he felt that he was “just born to do this”. Like many corporate democrats that have come before him, Beto’s interview answers were full of nothing but platitudes.
Perhaps more surprising than the rise of Beto O’Rourke is the rise of Southbend, Indiana Mayor and Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Like Beto, the IVY league educated Mayor Buttigieg has a carefully maintained progressive appearance, with a powerful social media presence. I have to admit I was unsure, but very interested at first in the Mayor’s campaign, and thought he certainly deserved a spot on the debate stage. That being said, there was something about him I couldn’t quite put my finger on that made me hesitant to believe him and support his campaign.
A long detailed article entitled ‘All About Pete’ written by Nathan J. Robinson and published by www.currentaffairs.org highlighted for me exactly why I felt so skeptical of the Southbend Mayor. I encourage everyone to read this article.
Like Beto, Buttigieg’s rhetoric is full of platitudes and strange phrasing, with very little substance beneath the surface. Not only that, but the article went in to detail about the stark racial divide in the Southbend community, especially when it comes to income inequality. That is something I absolutely refuse to ignore and have yet to see Buttigieg be asked about by anyone in the mainstream media.
There is no denying that Buttigieg is a bright, talented politician. That being said, there is a difference between a talented politician who knows how to campaign and speak to the public, and a statesman who will actually fight for the good of the American people.
When pausing to consider both of these candidates, it really isn’t all that surprising why they are so loved by the mainstream media. They are exactly what they search for in a Democratic candidate. They are young, rising democratic stars who they see as the next Barack Obama. These men walk a thin, careful line when asked about their policies as democrats, in the mainstream media’s view, should. They’re not here to ruffle any feathers, unlike Justice Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They are here simply to be a new, young face of the same old party.
I am not here to tell progressives who to vote for. I am not here to tell you these two men have no place on the debate stage. They have a platform and a voice, and everyone running deserves a chance to present themselves to the American people. I am simply here to tell democratic voters to be cautious and skeptical. Listen carefully to what they say, and see for yourselves if their records match what they’re saying. I firmly believe that this country needs a genuine progressive, and I am unapologetically weary of any candidates the mainstream media adores.