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O'Rourke writes: "At this moment of truth - at this moment where we could make or break our democracy, where we will decide the fate of generations to come on this planet - we must all ask what each of us can give to this country and to the people who will inherit the consequences of our choices."

Former congressman Beto O'Rourke. (photo: Christ Chavez)
Former congressman Beto O'Rourke. (photo: Christ Chavez)

Running for President

By Beto O'Rourke, Reader Supported News

14 March 19


write to ask you to join me in a campaign to serve this country as the next President of the United States.

At this moment of truth — at this moment where we could make or break our democracy, where we will decide the fate of generations to come on this planet — we must all ask what each of us can give to this country and to the people who will inherit the consequences of our choices.

Amy and I have decided that running to serve America as president is the best way for us to do our part, understanding that we have an historic opportunity to join with millions of our fellow Americans at a time like no other.

The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. The connected crises in our economy, our democracy and our climate will either consume us or they will afford us the opportunity to demonstrate our resolve, our creativity and our courage.

In other words, this moment of peril produces what is perhaps our greatest moment of promise. We can have a government that serves people instead of corporations. We can invest in the dignity of those working and those seeking work, no matter their gender, race or background. We can guarantee high quality health care to every single American. We can remind ourselves that if immigration is a problem, it’s a great one to have, and ensure that we create lawful paths to enter the country to work, to join family, to flee persecution. We can achieve real justice reform and confront the hard truths of slavery, segregation and suppression. We can listen to and lift up rural communities. We can restore American leadership, find peaceful solutions to global challenges, and end decades-long wars while delivering for every woman and man who has served in them. And we can unleash the ingenuity and political will of millions of Americans to meet the existential threat of climate change before it’s too late.

No one candidate or president, no matter how tough or talented or experienced, can meet these challenges on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us – not just to vote and volunteer, but to understand that for democracy to flourish and meet these challenges, it is an everyday responsibility, one that doesn’t end when the ballots are counted.

We saw the truth of that in Texas over the last two years - people from all walks of life, every part of the state, coming together in record numbers, creating something greater and more powerful than the sum of the people involved. I saw firsthand how the purpose and function that we all crave can be found in serving others and serving this country.

This campaign will be positive. We will define ourselves by what we want to achieve and accomplish for America. It will be animated by an ambition for the country that recognizes that the challenges we face will only be overcome by lifting each other up; that the opportunities before us will only be realized by overcoming the differences between us — of party, of geography, of race, of gender, of faith — before they define us forever.

We seek the Democratic nomination by listening to and learning from the people we wish to serve. We are running a campaign for everyone. That’s why, wherever you are in the United States — from Alaska to Puerto Rico — I want you to be part of this. I want this to be your campaign. A campaign by all of us for all of us.

In the coming days I will travel to introduce myself to my fellow Americans and to listen to the people I meet. In those conversations I want to discuss how we can bring the power and ingenuity of the American people to bear on the challenges we face.

On March 30th we will officially kick off this campaign in my hometown of El Paso. I want you to be there with me then if you can. I’m also asking you to help organize others in your community to make sure that we build the greatest grassroots campaign this country has ever seen. No PACs, just people.

There’s more to come, but I want to leave you with this:

The only way to live up to the promise of this country at this moment of maximum peril and maximum potential is to give it our all and to give it for all of us. We are now, more than ever, the last best hope of Earth. Let’s show ourselves and those who succeed us in this great country what we are made of and what we can do.

If you are ready to be part of this effort, please make a donation to help us kick off our campaign the right way.


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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+44 # Forbes 2019-03-14 13:54
Just say NO to Beto. He talks a good game, but his past says differently. So do his investments and his wife's investments. We have many better choices in the Democratic party - my favorites being Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Veterans For Bernie understand his long work in reducing our military overreach and waste of money.
+42 # PABLO DIABLO 2019-03-14 13:59
I have heard all this before. In fact, I've been hearing it for the last thirty years from Sen. Bernie Sanders, the real deal. Vote Bernie.
+39 # Moxa 2019-03-14 14:16
What is a campaign funding message for Beto O'Rourke doing in RSN? Beto is not even a progressive.

In Congress he was a member of the New Democrat Coalition, rather than the Progressive Caucus.

Wikipedia: The New Democrat Coalition is a Congressional Member Organization within the United States Congress made up of centrist, capitalist Democrats who support an agenda that the organization describes as "moderate" and "pro-growth" and support a balanced budget.
+2 # Street Level 2019-03-14 20:30
It's not a bad thing that RSN publishes this stuff. An uninformed voter can glean a lot about a candidate from reading the comments. Otherwise, RSN would just be an echo chamber and people would still be believing that Liz Warren is progressive.
+1 # librarian1984 2019-03-16 19:08
Perhaps it would serve progressive readers better to run an article that looks at Beto's announcement in context and with informed analysis, rather than running an unfiltered fundraising call. Here's one:
-24 # moreover 2019-03-14 14:20
He sounds like someone who can appeal to a majority, and his realization that climate change is the real emergency and that immigration can be a blessing make me hopeful that he'd be the common denominator we're looking for.
+20 # Moxa 2019-03-14 16:09
The common denominator we're looking for are things which the majority of people really want, like Medicare for all, free tuition in public universities, taxing the rich and the corporations, getting money out of politics, etc.

O'Rourke is very vague about most of these things. He says he wants to help the country, but he doesn't seem to know how he would do it. The world is on fire, there is no time to think about re-inventing the fire hose.
+37 # Inspired Citizen 2019-03-14 14:28
Beto endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016, and he supports school vouchers.

He's a neo-liberal.
+41 # Farafalla 2019-03-14 14:39
A lot of fluff there. Not a single cogent policy position on any issue. No endorsement of any concrete progressive ideas like $15/hr min wage, climate action and Green New Deal, universal single payer healthcare, free college tuition for undergrads, end war in Yemen, hands off Venezuela, campaign finance reform, break up the banks and the monopolies like Facebook.

Oh, but there is someone who is quite clear and all of those and made them his platform. That’s Bernie! Are we supposed to believe that you are more “electable” because you have no position on anything? That sounds like the Dems we have come to know and hate.
+38 # engelbach 2019-03-14 14:46
I find nothing concrete in O'Rourke's message.

He's a centrist. And no fighter. I don't trust him.
+14 # rural oregon progressive 2019-03-14 18:07
Quoting engelbach:
I find nothing concrete in O'Rourke's message.

He's a centrist. And no fighter. I don't trust him.

You are correct: nothing of substance whatsoever... He is long on rhetoric, which mostly is a summarization of NOT his platform and policy list, but of Sanders' platform and policy proposals. What I find interesting is that Beto's article is presented as though there is no current organization that has come together through grassroots organizing, and people signing up to fight the establishment.. . Apparently he is oblivious to the Sanders campaign and the Sanders movement. More accurately, he sounds like he is the DNC's latest installment who is hoped to supplant Sanders, and deny him the Democratic nomination. First the DNC pushed Kamala because "she would bring black Americans into the fold"... that has not worked so well because of her history, among other things. The DNC also is behind Gillibrand (sweetheart of Wall Street). Her rallies have been pitiful. Now they want to see if an entitled white guy, Beto, can take wing... I doubt it will work. Once people understand his big-moneyed legislative background, he too will fizzle. He would be far wiser to get behind Bernie if he really believes in any damn thing he wrote in this article. Nice that RSN gave Beto a free money-raising platform though, under the guise of an "article".
+14 # rural oregon progressive 2019-03-14 18:27
Oh, and Beto also repeatedly co-opted two things that are common themes in each and every Sanders speech... "We", and "Us"... Sanders always talks about "us" and "we", as well as "when 'we' are in the White House..." Notice how often Beto copied that theme in his article. It's as though he is stating "hey, look at me. I'm the real Bernie Sanders except I don't endorse Medicare-for-al l, or investing in the future of our children and this country with tuition-free public college... aside from that, I am more Bernie than Bernie is"
+6 # lfeuille 2019-03-14 23:50
He's been compared to Obama by some who think that is a compliment, but it is true and it's not a good thing.
+41 # Trumpistheswamp 2019-03-14 14:47

+18 # grandlakeguy 2019-03-14 15:00
He is mimicking all the points that Bernie has been pushing for the last 40 years despite being one of the largest recipients of big oil dollars and often voting with the Republicans!

I am NOT impressed (or fooled) ...GO BERNIE!!!
+14 # librarian1984 2019-03-14 15:50
He's a neoliberal whose main political accomplishment is LOSING to Ted Cruz! What an ego.

I agree -- why is RSN running a donation plea from Beto?
+9 # Anne Frank 2019-03-14 15:53
Just as mealy-mouthed as when he was running for the Senate.
+14 # Inspired Citizen 2019-03-14 16:10
Obama once described himself as a moderate Republican. Guess who else sides with the Republicans time and again in DC.
+5 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-15 07:07
IC -- "Obama once described himself as a moderate Republican"

Yes, this is astonishing. But it is true. And his policies were republican. Obamacare was really Romneycare and the policy developed by the Heritage Foundation.

Hillary was a Goldwater Republican and really continues to be that. Bill Clinton was a Blue Dog democrat and most of those have converted to republicans.

So where is the Democratic Party. It seems like most of its leaders are really republicans.

What's up?
+1 # GreenBee 2019-03-15 12:40
If you haven't figured out "what's up" by now, you are in denial. Most Dems big take money from the same big PACs and corps that fund Republicans. So they push the same policies just with less hate thrown in.
+11 # mashiguo 2019-03-14 16:27
I like to turn off the sound and watch him wave his hands spasmodically in the air.

That solves two problems at once: it turns off the annoyingly empty political non-speak that characterizes all his positions, and it is strangely entertaining.

I wouldn't pay to see it, however.
+10 # jimallyn 2019-03-14 16:31
If you think Beto O'Rourke would make a good president, you may want to actually learn some facts about him before voting. For starters, read these:

Beto O'Rourke is not a progressive, and he will not represent the American people. He is a Republican, who serves Donald Trump and the Republican/coor porate agenda.
+13 # chapdrum 2019-03-14 17:13
You lost to Ted Cruz (!). Next.
+9 # RLF 2019-03-14 17:54
Just another Billionaire running as a Democrat!
+14 # tsyganka 2019-03-14 18:12
Beto yaps a yap of vague 'warm fuzzies' but gives no concrete proposals, and his voting record is right-wing. He's a media darling only because he was against Ted Cruz. Big flipping deal. It's very easy to be against Creepy Cruz, just like it's very easy to be against Trashy Trump.

The Democrats better back Bernie this time, or else our country and planet Lose. I suspect that a Sanders/Warren ticket would be unbeatable, but not the other way around.

Side note: I subscribe to various organizations' newsletters to keep informed and/or know what propaganda they're putting out. The D and R parties both use the same PR firm to write their emails, surveys, and solicitations. That PR firms SCREAMS hyped-up messages, insultingly addresses people in the 3rd person, falsely ascribes emotions to potential donors, presents unrealistic either-or situations, uses a rich man's golf term ("chip in") that trivializes sacrifices that we non-rich folks have to make in order to donate, constantly lies (e.g., false counters), presents wimpy, fascist, and/or simply clueless candidates, etc., then tells activists to "SUBMIT." The organizations never reply to comments or questions, however. -- Have you had experience with their PR firm? Despite my repeated questions, no one will tell me:

What's the name of the firm? Who heads it? Who mandated its use for both parties? Why can't it be fired?

Phooey on Beto. We need Bernie.
+9 # bobmiller101 2019-03-14 18:32
I agree with the posts about his record, but his biggest failing is he LOST! NOT a great way to start a campaign. Once again, it's about "appearances," NOT "substance."
+11 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-14 18:39
I really don't know anything about Beto. He's kind of the darling of the mainstream media but they never say what he stands for. He seems like another Obama -- all empty platitudes but pronounced in a charismatic way.

I'm glad to see more new democratic faces in the race, but still Sanders and Gabbard are head and shoulders ahead of the rest. Sadly, Warren is sinking in my estimation. I still like her but she's not doing anything to build my trust in her. I do like her boldness in stating her policy interests, however.

Beto is just an empty suit -- so far. He now exists to distract the news media from Sanders and Gabbard, but that won't last long.

Did anyone see Gabbard on the Colbert program. Colbert showed himself to be a dishonest asshole.
+5 # Wally Jasper 2019-03-15 09:27
I used to be very impressed with Tulsi Gabbard. But it appears that she has close ties to right wing nationalist Indian Prime Minister Modi, certainly in order to receive financial backing from the very powerful Hindu nationalist crowd. She can't play it both ways (as a progressive and a right wing nationalist).
+21 # Wally Jasper 2019-03-14 19:20
Beto wants to be president.

Bernie wants to serve the people.
+13 # Street Level 2019-03-14 20:23
Just another Dem for the oil industry to include on it's donor list.
+6 # lfeuille 2019-03-14 23:55
The Democratic field is going to rival the Republican clown car of 2016. I don't care how many jump in, how pretty they are how closely they can imitate a progressive. I'm sticking with the genuine article. Go Bernie!
+6 # jcdav 2019-03-15 07:28
He TALKS like Bernie, but his record is pure corporatist.... ..what a sham progressive.... I worked for Bernie in 2016 and still think his policies are best...The DNC will not commit to a BINDING platform and is still sold out. GO BERNIE!
+5 # DongiC 2019-03-16 09:42
O'Rourke is the DNC's bull sh*t candidate. He waves his arms and waffles his positions. He is going nowhere at light speed. He couldn't even beat Cruz. Go, Bernie, go!!

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