Rep. Beto O’Rourke is not your typical senator. Nor is he the typical challenger you’d expect to dethrone Ted Cruz in Texas. However, he might pull it off. He is a Democrat. But his defiant opinion on some issues, like criminal justice reform, that matter to Texans, might win the election for him. In fact, Rep. Beto is actually trying to flip the reddest of the red. He is trying to gain the endorsement of Cruz’s Tea Party base.
Texas is not very kind to Democrats. There has not been a statewide Democrat elected in that state since 1994. That is a long time. NYPD Blue and Beverly Hills 90210 were on the TV. Forest Gump and Pulp Fiction were in the movies. And a Democrat was elected in Texas.
In 2012, state Rep. Joaquin Castro noted, Texas is “the state that has now gone the longest without electing a Democrat statewide.” Politifact
Five years later, that message still rings true!
Texans realized that their harsh justice system was only hurting them. It doesn’t reduce crime and it is very expensive. All it does is ruin lives, and gets Republicans elected. Like all other conservative ideologies, voters eventually realized that locking up a kid for twenty years for smoking a joint is very stupid. In the 90’s, Texas had the fastest growing prison populations. By 2010, the Texas prison population reached an all time high of more than 170,000 state and federal inmates, BusinessInsider.
Plus, on top of these outrageously expensive policies, Republicans will lower your taxes. Who pays for these programs?
Most Republicans in conservative states would crucify anyone who suggested criminal justice reform. According to Republican politicians, if you break the law you deserve the harshest penalty. The thought of tossing those criminals a bone is a blasphemy to some of them religious right nuts.
A Democrat will not survive very long in Texas without working together with Republicans. Rep. Beto O’Rourke certainly did that on important issues in his El Paso district. His emphasis on criminal justice reform is the perfect tactic to unseat his competitor Ted Cruz in ’18.
Considering how important criminal justice reform is in Texas, Ted Cruz has always been a supporter of it. However, his opposition to a reform bill during the 2016 presidential primary made all Texans scratch their heads in confusion.
O’Rourke’s promotion of criminal justice reform has gained the approval of many of the reddest organizations. For example, while conservative organization FreedomWorks, still endorses Ted Cruz for 2018 senate, they supported O’Rourke’s Better Drive Act. This legislation is designed to help nonviolent drug offenders keep their drivers’ licenses so that they can get to work.
“Our drug laws have made it really hard on a lot of Texans and a lot of communities,” O’Rourke said of the efforts. “Maybe folks describe that as libertarian issues. I think that’s just Texans maintaining our independence.” McClatchyDC
It might make some voters feel good and safe, to live in a state with such strict justice policies. In the end, though, it ruins a lot more lives than it saves. What happens to that kid, who got twenty years for selling some pot, when he gets out? Most likely he won’t get hired and he will be forced to return to criminal activities. That is terrible for him and for our country and economy. There are so many productive components to our society that we keep locked away. Also, we will be paying for all of his meals and medical calamities his whole life. The only thing that this Draconian penal system does, is that it helps Republicans get elected.
So many lives are shattered so that Republicans can get elected and lower taxes for their friends.