Dallas Morning News Editorial. We recommend Beto O'Rourke for U.S. Senate.

When, in the course of human events, a people become so divided among themselves that they can no longer engage in meaningful political discourse or even remain civil to one another, it is time to take bold steps forward.

In looking at the race for United States Senate in Texas, we recognize that this country stands on a precipice. Whether we fall off the edge depends on how we answer this question: Can we set policy differences aside, even for a moment, and agree to treat each other with the respect befitting a great nation, with acknowledgment of the humanity of each person?

We have been at divisive political moments before, and we know those often end when leaders emerge who find ways to get along personally even when they are engaged in grand, tectonic political debates. That is one of the underappreciated stories of the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill worked together. Even when they fought it out on tough issues, they fostered an enduring friendship.

For this reason more than any other, we favor U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke for U.S. Senate. The pivotal issue before our country is public leadership, and here we believe O'Rourke's tone aligns with what is required now. This inclusive and hopeful tone, along with O'Rourke's approach of starting with shared principles and working toward solutions, offset any policy differences we have with him. Leadership is more than policy, and whether we are addressing the very real challenges before us now turns on our ability to find points of agreement.

In this respect, O'Rourke is the stronger candidate. In conducting his campaign, he has displayed a demeanor that offers respect for each person and a humbleness that will allow him to open the door to working with those who hold political views different from his. We believe O'Rourke is right in calling for rejoining the Paris climate accord, supporting the vast potential of renewable energy in Texas, and calling for universal background checks on guns. He is also right to reject the call for construction of a border wall and to call for comprehensive and fair immigration reform.

By contrast, through his actions in Washington and his rhetoric from Iowa to New Hampshire and beyond, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz has distinguished himself as a cutting figure in today's politics. Lincoln, echoing the Gospel of Mark, cautioned us long ago that a house divided against itself cannot stand. And we believe that at this moment, we cannot afford such an approach.

We were also moved by Cruz when he told us about meeting with the students from Santa Fe High School after the shooting there. In those comments he listed a number of ideas on how to curb such attacks, including an idea we supported this year to create a unit in the Justice Department to find holes in the background system before they are exploited by the next shooter. He also supports political dissidents who push for human freedom abroad, support that we share as we look for ways to ground American foreign policy in a set of guiding principles that will rally others to our cause.

But there is a set of principles we would like to restore in domestic politics that starts with building political bridges. Before he became Cruz's challenger, O'Rourke was a congressman best known outside of El Paso for road-tripping across Texas and up to Washington with Republican Congressman Will Hurd. The two had serious differences, but their camaraderie and their willingness to discuss compromise were a brief antidote to the political poison seeping out of the capital.

O'Rourke largely framed his campaign around the spirit of the road trip with just a few notable exceptions. Those include saying he would vote to impeach the president, thereby putting himself in favor of what would be one of the most divisive fights in politics. At the end of the campaign he also broke with his approach to repeat an insulting nickname Donald Trump once slapped on Cruz. These are blemishes on his campaign.

O'Rourke is no conservative Democrat. His positions on taxes, immigration, the judiciary, federal regulations and health care are further to the left than many statewide voters would like. But he is shattering expectations in a state where Democrats haven't won a statewide race in decades. The dollars he has raised and the number of supporters he has garnered are evidence of an embedded hunger in this state and country for a campaign that's based on unifying communities.

In the divisive times in which we live, we believe that tone and leadership are the top issues with which to judge these candidates' tenures in office. So we're placing a bet on Beto.

October 25, 2018


October 26, 2018

Post Script.

1. Editorial #5. Dallas Morning News For Beto O' Rourke. Did I mention that the Houston Chronicle endorsed Beto too? Get out the Vote now in TX or on Nov. 6. Vote Beto, MJHegar, Gina Ortiz Jones,Blue, Blue, Blue. America counts on us! Get out the Vote! #BlueAmerica #WinItBack

2. Did I mention that the days before the bombs started arriving, Ted Cruz declared to his followers that Hillary Clinton and Beto O'Rourke would soon be sharing a jail cell. Cutting, says the Dallas Morning News of Cruz? How about low, desperate, disgusting. There is a man who deserves to lose his Senate seat. Vote Beto! Vote Early or onNov.6.

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