Opinion: Vote Beto!


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Beto O’Rourke on the campaign trail.

As United States citizens it is our duty to vote, our responsibility to decide our future, it is an obligation to determine who will best listen to our voices and decide to act in our favor, not for the favor of his or her party. The midterm election is one of the most important elections in the history of the United States to date because it is a time when we can voice our opinions on different issues and people. And out of all the decisions a person makes in their life, who you vote for impacts on not only you, but also your neighbors, family members, and peers.

For the Texas Senate, you have two options: Beto O’Rourke or Ted Cruz. The answer; in my opinion, is Beto O’Rourke. The country is in a very fragile place, dealing with a wide range of issues from women’s health rights, to gun control, to immigration, but Beto O’Rourke, unlike Ted Cruz, is for the people and not just for his party.

Gun control in America is among the most controversial issues today; leading to many other problems such as mass shootings and police brutality. According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2018 alone,12,313 people died and 24,005 more people have been severely injured due to gun violence. And while I understand that it is in the second amendment of the Constitution, I also understand that we have a moral and civil responsibility to protect the lives of American citizens. Beto O’Rourke will fight for gun reform; he will require background checks for all gun sales to ensure that the weapon is only in the hands of the most responsible people, and not in the hands of those who have been diagnosed as mentally or emotionally unstable. He is pushing to stop the commercial selling of war and high-capacity magazines; furthermore, he is fighting to keep these guns on the battlefield not in the streets and in schools.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, doesn’t want to control the number of guns that get into the hands of irresponsible people at all, instead he wants to arm our teachers and let them decide our fate; according to Cruz’s website. If a teacher would like to be armed, that is fine, but personally I believe my school should be an environment in which I feel safe and protected from the chaos of the world around us. I do not believe that putting a gun in the hands of a teacher will help the situation. The problem isn’t just the number of lives being ripped away from our world too soon, but it is also how can we, as a country, take hold and take control of the thing that has caused the nation so much grief. Voting for Beto O’Rourke will help to tackle this problem and hopefully decrease the number of lives passed due to gun violence.

As the daughter of an immigrant, it pains me to see the leaders of this country turn a blind eye to the pain and suffering of other immigrants who are simply trying to escape the gangs, drugs, and violence of their home countries. Living a life where you are filled with trepidation isn’t a life worth living, it is a compilation of days strung together by nightmares, anxiousness, and fear. Beto O’Rourke understands the struggle and wants to provide help for these people. He wants to pass the DREAM Act to ensure that all undocumented immigrants who are brought here as infants and children, known as ‘dreamers’, find a permanent home and are granted U.S. citizenship so that they are not forced to struggle through the dark realities that their parents and other family members grappled with. O’Rourke would also like to improve the immigration system in order to encourage family reunification and education in the United States. Additionally, O’Rourke would vote to end the militarization of the immigration enforcement system and close private immigration prisons and detention centers that profit from locking up families. As the son of a Cuban immigrant escaping communism and being someone who immigrated to America from Canada, it would be an assumption that Ted Cruz would be for less strict immigration policies, but no. According to a September 2018 article in the Houston Chronicle, Cruz supports the proposed border wall and doesn’t want to provide any assistance to immigrants trying to enter this country. Now, while the border wall may sound like a ‘good idea’ to some people, it isn’t. The funding for the $25 billion wall is still up in the air, and I wouldn’t want to risk deepening the already enormous debt for something that half of the country disapproves of.

I have grown up in an era when discrimination has seen a dramatic increase. People today feel entitled, like their opinion is superior over someone else’s. It is important that as citizens and as humans we begin to recognize that whether a person is American, Asian, straight, gay, democratic, or republican we treat them as equal because no quality or trait makes any one better than someone else. O’Rourke supports movements like the Equality Act that provides non discrimination securities to LGBT+ Americans. Additionally, he wants to guarantee that same-sex couples are given the same federal benefits as any other family, as well as access to benefits such as social security. Cruz, however, co-sponsors an anti-LGBT bill that would sanction discrimination according to an Austin LGBT Chamber article. Being rude or victimizing someone simply because of how they identify is morally incorrect and supporting someone who wants to treat someone differently and unequally is not right.

Women’s rights are extremely important, and we have left a woman’s right to choose their future in the hands of men who are ignorant to female struggles. As an adolescent, it frightens me that we have elected officials who are not understanding and compassionate of women’s rights. Ted Cruz voted for Brett Kavanaugh to be given a spot in the Supreme Court, someone who has had multiple women come forth and accuse him of sexual misconduct. He ignored the fact that Kavanaugh allegedly assaulted a woman so that the Supreme Court would have mostly Republican candidates who could pass laws and acts proposed by people of their party. Beto O’Rourke wants to encourage and empower women by guaranteeing a woman’s right to choose her future by making sure it is not restricted by limited access to safe and legal abortion services and family planning help. He also wants to support females by supporting policies that ensure a women’s access to birth control and emergency conception. Furthermore, he wants to expand Medicaid and funding family planning centers in order to prevent mothers from dying due to complications before or after childbirth.

And speaking of health care, he would also like to improve the Affordable Care Act by balancing our insurance markets. O’Rourke would also like to expand Medicaid so that it covers more Texans and protects the Medicaid guarantee for vulnerable children, the disabled, and the elderly. Cruz, however, supports a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act that declares it unconstitutional largely based on the theory that the mandate to cover pre-existing medical conditions is invalid without the individual mandate; according to a September 2018 issue of the Houston Chronicle.

Education is the foundation of our nation. It is the basis on which we elect our officials. O’Rourke wants to further support our public education by not giving any portion of public tax dollars to private schools, which in turn, would lead to an improvement in all Texas public school due to the increase in funds provided by his plan. Furthermore, he would like to protect students by working to get rid of bills like Senate Bill 6 that discriminated against students based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. He would like to encourage teachers based on what we should know for life rather than what we should for tests. Voting for Beto O’Rourke will lead you into a life after high school and college feeling more prepared and more knowledgeable about the necessary skills you need to have in order to be successful. It will lead to a better quality of education as a result of schools having more access to greater funds. Moreover, schools will become a safer more inclusive environment, no matter how someone identifies.

Beto O’Rourke is the best option for Texas. He wants to restrict guns so that they are only available to the most responsible people, support immigrants who come to the United States looking for refuge and asylum from the violence that their home country condones, put an end to discrimination by supporting the equal treatment of all people no matter how they identify, encourage women by empowering their right to choose, make healthcare accessible to all people, and improve education by giving public schools more funding. Do not vote for someone who puts his own wants and the wants of his political party above the wants and needs of fellow Americans and Texans. Vote for someone who will listen to our voices and tries to improve the division of America. Vote Beto O’Rourke for Senate.