:toc: left :toc-title: GO RIGHT TO THE THING So, Alabama almost elected an accused child molester and sexual deviant for their governor. To be honest, I'm actually surprised they didn't. I don't exactly understand the "good-ol-boyism" that allows people to believe a wealthy old man's word over the word of his dozen or so female accusers, but whatever. I won't go into that here, because it didn't happen anyway. Instead, Alabama elected a Democrat to as a governor for the first time in over a decade. Oh and that guy ended up switching parties years later and https://edition.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/05/24/shelby.switch.cnna/index.html[telling CNN] that he was glad to be rid of a party he no longer agreed with. And Doug Jones is a legit social progressive and is considered a civil rights leader. I don't mention this because I'm happy a democrat won over a republican. I mention it because a republican stronghold has just signaled that they're not willing to toe the party line anymore. They're not willing to put up with awful people grasping on the republican heartstrings for votes anymore. To be honest, I don't care if Republicans or Democrats control the country. Ideally, we'd have a balance. But I also will not tolerate people that are straight up awful on either side. == Speaking of Awful So with that said, let's get into Ted Cruz. If you hate Trump, you should also know that Ted Cruz has been setting Trump's stage for quite some time. First of all, the guy http://www.politifact.com/personalities/ted-cruz/statements/[lies] https://crooksandliars.com/blue-texan/new-study-shows-ted-cruz-r-tx-congress-[like crazy]. He's been caught http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/01/ted_cruz_may_be_the_most_gifted_liar_ever_to_run_for_president.html[lying] https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2013/9/3/1235949/-Shocker-of-the-day-Ted-Cruz-lies-about-nbsp-Obamacare[in public] http://www.politifact.com/personalities/ted-cruz/[multiple times], and even being https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/03/28/senator-ted-cruz-caught-blatantly-lying-on-fox-news-sunday/[caught by Fox News]. His 340-page book, ironically titled "Ted Cruz: A Time for Truth" is so full of awful lies, misinterpretations, or blatant party line bullshit, that it's 66 footnotes only quotes alt-right conservative pundents. Not a single quote is from a more reputable conservative source. But he doesn't just lie. He's a jerk about his lies too. Even Trump, of all people, called him an http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/01/ted-cruz-jerk-hated/[unlikable jerk]. Cruz recently https://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/11/30/ted-cruz-defends-conservative-criticisms-of-planned-parenthood-after-shooting-at-clinic/[called Robert Jones], the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter a "transgender leftist activist", after being told the shooter had no "baby parts". After the outrage eventually ensued, Cruz tried to walk back his position by saying that he was trying to say we knew little about the shooter. Okay, then why didn't you say that rather than labelling the shooter with false information? Let's not forget that he believes that https://thinkprogress.org/cruz-says-all-christian-terrorist-attacks-were-centuries-ago-forgets-about-the-one-last-week-63f2c84dcd0e/[there have been no Christian terror attacks in centuries]. Or claiming that Republicans are https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/ted-cruz-republicans-arent-the-condom-police-20151201[not the "condom police"] despite supporting bills that reduce a women's access to contraception. Oh and not a single anti-abortion activist has ever been violent, despite https://thinkprogress.org/cruz-says-hes-never-met-an-abortion-opponent-who-advocates-violence-despite-endorsement-from-one-42b79a4253cb/[being endorsed by one]. See, I'd almost be okay with all of his stupid lying if he was just dumb. But he graduated cum laude from Princeton, went to Harvard, and even worked as a clerk for the Supreme Court. He should know how to evidence. But I think his motivation is a bit darker than just being an idiot. Cruz gained prominence as part of the alt-right Tea Party movement, which ironically sought to destroy the very educated elitist government rule that he represents. He thinks this group got him elected, despite the fact that he was running in one of the most conservative states in the union. As a result, he puts on a character, like some sort of twisted clown, and waffles his way through bad policy while lying about it all the way. But funny enough, he's bad at it. His lies https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/shouts-of-liar-are-taking-their-toll-on-ted-cruzs-campaign/2016/02/23/0077c8a8-da46-11e5-891a-4ed04f4213e8_story.html[cost him his presidential bid] once Tea Party activists found a guy who legitimately believed in this stuff. == The Man for the Job Whew, okay, let's move past that for a moment. Let me introduce you to the bold democratic challenger that is Beto O'Rourke. At first glance, he's a millenial's dream candidate. He's young and handsome. He's the tech-savvy owner of an internet startup (Stanton Street). He even played in a punk band once. He staunchly opposes many of Trump's policies. Heck, he even does that weird thing where his nickname is made up of the last part of his first name (Beto - Roberto w/o the "Ro" and second "r"). But there's more to this guy than just a character. Unlike many candidates of his ilk this guy runs a fresh and honest campaign. He's already https://www.texasobserver.org/beto-orourke-congress-ted-cruz-democrats/[rebuked the usual "fresh" and "edgy" political strategists]. Instead, to announce his campaign and introduce himself, he gathered his family in El Paso and posted a simple Facebook Live video on his smartphone. He's taken Dean's state-by-state strategy to a micro level, visiting 32 towns and cities in August alone. He streams everything, which can be a bit ridiculous at times. Watching him bet a golden retriever's belly is both cute and eye-rollingly annoying, but at least the only editing in his content is his choice to turn on the camera. And there's also the fact that he refuses to take PAC money. All of his money is collected from individual donations. All of this combined makes his campaign feel surprisingly honest, human, and welcome. His record so far is pretty good, despite there being so little of it. Sure, he faced some issues with an El Paso cleanup program earlier in his career. It took him way too long to finally respond to the eminent domain issues and make sure people were helped with relocation. But eventually he figured it out. But that was in his first position as a city councilman. Since then, his House work has been dedicated to helping veterans and ensuring their rights. I've agreed with most of his decisions as a representative, but to be honest, the guy's lack of experience is the most troubling part. He might be a bit of a wild card. But we'll certainly know more as the election continues. I think what's most refreshing about him is https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/beto-orourke-is-a-mexico-loving-liberal-in-texas-can-he-really-beat-ted-cruz/2017/02/21/868848ee-f482-11e6-8d72-263470bf0401_story.html[his optimism]. He loves Mexico, a controversial opinion in Texas. He's worked to revitalize El Paso, and ran into a bit of eminent domain controversy, but navigated it well. He acknowledges El Paso's crime and poverty, but also highlights opportunities and his hopes for the future. == Does He Stand a Chance? Well, he's a democrat. That fact alone should give anyone pause. Texas loves to tote the party line despite the character of a person. So does my home state of California. But I think people are really getting tired of political drama and controversy. After the last few years, and especially after the rash of abuse accusations of the last few months, people are starting to look for candidates that are simply good people. O'Rourke isn't a saint, but he's honest about what he is, and that's okay. Sure, he's going to have a hard time getting a senate seat in Texas. But despite being a relative unknown, he's already polling at dead even with Cruz in the Texas-Lyceum polls. [right.text-center] image::https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/GY9YuSoUFKnjYas6dn7LY-bfVh-1kvR2ds_sMjy_bru8cjCfMuxfO-fhd3epvoZ8lN3tBDY9di1TWJEG-WHC2cIgmEFZ3_Z9Q1BYr2bPqIu9keTItzQsmnEdNNfkGCkx2ATUiXBn Then again, that's a poll with a 40% non-respondent rate. But considering how unpopular today's Net Neutrality vote was, and much anti-Trump sentiment is getting people in the streets, a shamelessly human politician from a tech background might get a lot more attention than he did previously. Regardless of the party, we need more people who are actually optimistic about the future, who actually want to make government work rather than destroy it, and people who have hope rather than hatred. We'll see.