Beto O’Rourke: Lost in the Shuffle (Flickr)
On November 20, ten candidates will take the stage in Atlanta in an attempt to convince the American people that they are the best choice to be the next President of the United States. During the approximately 3 hour-run, more harm than good will be done to all 10.
This primary process has produced a historic amount of candidates that are flowing from the woodwork in search of the Democratic nomination. Because of this and the infighting that the process creates, a weakened Democratic Party ensues in its attempt to unseat President Trump.
Beto O’Rourke is an example of the harm being done. In March, O’Rourke looked promisinfg as a future political star after nearly unseating Ted Cruz in a 2018 Senate race. Just 8 months later, he suspended his campaign. Many are doubtful that he even has a future in politics.
While we can point to O’Rourke’s inability to connect with voters on a nationwide scale for his fall, his debates were his downfall. Along with Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, whose poll numbers have fallen off a cliff, O’Rourke’s lack of presence in debates hurt him.
Over the course of the last 4 debates, time is so lacking that candidates rarely have time to get more than 10 words out of their mouths before another candidate jumps in, looking for a single soundbite to become the defining moment of the night.
Julian Castro’s support fell off following one such incident: his attacks on Pete Buttigieg created chaos. Afterward, social media was aflame with assaults on Castro, who failed to qualify for the latest debate.
If the Democrats want to see Trump lose in the 2020 election, they have to join together. Debates must return to their rightful state as a platform for runners to discuss their policy ideas and make a name for themselves, instead of the battle royale that we have seen during the last 5 months. If this happens, then and only then will President Trump be challenged by a Democrat who has not already been damaged beyond by their own party.