Opinion: Beto O’Rourke: “[Trump] hasn’t helped, he’s only divided”


During the COVID-19 stay at home orders, WSPN’s Max Brande and Kate Clifford experienced a Q&A session with politician Beto O’Rourke. “[Trump] has really pitted some people against others.”

Max Brande and Kate Clifford

It has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind over the past few months that 2020 has not been what we had hoped for. COVID-19 has completely taken over everyone’s lives in almost every way possible. Throughout the time of the pandemic, we’ve witnessed many unprecedented situations, including the recent injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

Through troubling times like these, we should be able to look to the leader of our country, our president, to guide us through. However, some may say that President Trump has not been one to look up to during these times. A couple of weeks ago, we had the privilege of speaking with Republican politician Beto O’Rourke in a conference call organized by the Boston Globe.

Beto O’Rourke is an American politician who represented Texas in the U.S House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. O’Rourke ran for the United States Senate in 2018 but lost to Republican Ted Cruz.

In this conference call, O’Rourke explained the lackluster job that President Trump has executed throughout the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Rather than helping to bring a hurting nation back together, he has set ultimatums with state officials and had somewhat of a “Quid pro quo” mentality rather than thinking about what’s best for the nation first. O’Rourke specifically spoke about this situation in his home state of Texas.

“At a press conference yesterday, Trump said to the governors, ‘look if you’re going to want federal help from the treasury, you are going to have to change your immigration policy in some of your states,’” O’Rourke said. “He’s really pitted some people against others.”

Trump publicly spoke at the White House Coronavirus briefing on April 3rd, stating that he won’t wear a mask. As the president of our country, many people look up to him, so when he publicly says that he won’t be wearing a mask, he has to expect that some will follow in his footsteps.

“I won’t be doing it, personally. It’s a recommendation,” Trump said in the briefing. “I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, somehow, I don’t see it for myself.”

Recently we have continued to see Trump’s poor leadership carry over to situations of racial injustices. On May 25th, George Floyd, an innocent 46-year-old black man, was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin.

One of the other movements people have been supporting at protests is the ‘ACAB’ movement, a movement against police brutality. ‘ACAB’ (All Cops Are Bastards) refers mainly to police as an institution, not necessarily to individual officers. Trump has yet again divided our country by tweeting out and making it clear that he doesn’t support this movement.

“The radical Left Democrats’ new theme is Defund the Police,” Trump tweeted. “This is where Sleepy Joe is being dragged by the socialists. I am the complete opposite; more money for Law Enforcement! #LAWANDORDER”

When people in our nation are faced with a political issue, they often respond with immediate backlash and sometimes violence. While there were many peaceful protestors out protesting for George Floyd, there were people out who wanted to riot and escalate the aggression. Similarly, back when Colin Kaepernick took a knee for the national anthem, there was a backlash. Lots of people were there to support Kaepernick, but at the same time, some people hated his decision to do so and, therefore, heavily criticized him for his actions. Back in 2018, Beto O’Rourke spoke to this incident in a compelling way. O’Rourke’s words are somehow extremely prevalent today with the tragedy of George Floyd.

“I can think of nothing more American than to peacefully stand up, or take a knee for your rights anytime, anywhere, any place,” O’Rourke said.

When our nation falls into crisis, it’s crucial that we avoid polarization and instead come together and unite as one. We must lean on our leaders for aid in times like these, and when we find ourselves questioning the decisions of our president, the question arises: What’s next?

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.