Beto O Rourke is a Christian
Beto O'Rourke had made up his mind not to curse anymore. At least publicly. You can say "shit" and "fuck" when you're a student playing bass in a punk band like O'Rourke did. Maybe you can get away with it if you are a backbencher in Congress who only drives around the Texan bush during the election campaign. But as a candidate for President of the United States? You'd rather do without the S and F words.
But then came the murderous Saturday in El Paso when a young man went out with an assault rifle to kill Mexicans. He wanted, he wrote in a manifesto, to save Texas from an "invasion" by migrants. And since then, Beto O'Rourke has no longer forced himself to talk about who he sees as the spiritual instigator of this assassination attempt: Donald Trump, the president who persuades the people every day that America is being overrun by "invaders" from the south . "You all know what shit he said," snapped O'Rourke a few days ago when journalists asked about Trump. "He called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I mean - what the fuck?"
The line from Trump's verbal agitation against migrants to the racially motivated shots in El Paso is drawn by many of the nearly two dozen women and men who are currently vying with O'Rourke for the democratic presidential candidacy for the coming year. But none of the applicants is as shaken as O'Rourke, and none of them is as sharp and angry at Trump. When it became known that Trump would be traveling to El Paso on a condolence visit this Wednesday, O'Rourke made himself the city's spokesman and told the president to stay away.
In some ways, this role is appropriate. O'Rourke, 46, is from El Paso, has lived most of his life there - apart from a few years of wandering in New York - and his family and wife have long been based in the western Texas city. From 2013 to 2019 he represented the constituency in which El Paso is located in the US House of Representatives. So it was his neighbors and voters who were murdered over the weekend.
Not so long ago, O'Rourke was considered a Democratic prodigy. Young, casual and emotional, fairly left-wing, but modern and not dogged or nerdy; and then also from the Texas province and with this cool, Spanish-sounding first name "Beto" - a real talent. His followers only found out that O'Rourke was christened with the rather bland, archiric name Robert Francis when they looked it up on Wikipedia.
In the 2018 congressional election, O'Rourke attempted to take office from Republican Senator Ted Cruz. He lost - but only so narrowly that he came to the conclusion that the next mandatory step would now be the presidential candidacy. That was probably a bit arrogant, so far O'Rourke has not made a particularly good impression in the Democratic primary campaign. For example, when he suddenly started speaking Spanish during a television debate among candidates, it was more embarrassing than convincing. "All hat, no cattle," they say in Texas about people who do not meet expectations: he has a big hat, but no cattle.
Perhaps part of O'Rourke's outbursts of anger against Trump is therefore also calculated. Maybe he wants to finally set himself apart from the other candidates and make the breakthrough. At least he caught the president's attention. O'Rourke should "be quiet," tweeted Trump on the eve of his visit to El Paso. O'Rourke promptly tweeted back: He called Trump a racist who inspires terrorists. "El Paso won't be silent, and neither will I."
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