I know, I know- it’s been a hella long time since I’ve posted anything. So many things have happened in the last few months that I’ve thought about blogging about, but I haven’t made the time to just sit down and do it.
As I sit here writing this, there are exactly 31 days until the midterm elections. In exactly one month from today, Texas has the chance to elect a Democrat as our senator. Even though I now go to school in Missouri, I mailed off my absentee ballot last week. This election was too big to miss out on. I proudly voted for Beto O’Rourke, and after what happened today, I am 1000% sure I made the right choice.
If you haven’t heard already, the Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh today 50-48. That sad excuse of a man will be one of the nine people sitting at the highest court in our country and will be making decisions that will affect generations of Americans. I’ve already screamed into my pillow, cried and ranted with my friends about it- if that tells you anything about how I’m feeling about the decision.
Texas senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn both voted in favor of Brett Kavanaugh.
After three women came out publicly accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault; after listening to four hours of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s grueling testimony; after seeing Kavanaugh’s utter meltdown when he gave his own testimony; and after the FBI performed one of the most half-assed investigations that I can ever recall, the two men who have the privilege of representing my state still voted to promote Brett Kavanaugh to one of the most powerful positions in the world.
The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach.
I love this country. I love that we don’t make it easy to give one person too much power. I love that there are long processes that we have to go through when it comes to doing just about anything. In general, it gives me a sense of security that these processes are theoretically supposed to ensure that men who have been accused of sexual assault and who throw public temper tantrums when questioned about it won’t ever have access to this much power. But today I feel like our leaders have failed me and the other 167 million women who make up this country that I love.
Because to me and every other woman I’ve talked to today, this vote felt like a personal attack. It felt like the 50 senators who voted ‘yes’ were essentially saying “yeah, we don’t give a f*ck about the women in this country.”
The summer before my junior year of high school I attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference in Washington DC. On the second to last day of the conference, we were given the time to meet with our state representatives. Even though I’ve never been a fan of Ted Cruz, I decided to set up a meeting with him anyways. At the last minute he had to cancel, so I ended up meeting with a couple members of his staff instead. When I got out of that meeting, I had a Snapchat message waiting for me from one of my friends at the conference. It was a picture of Ted Cruz buying an ice cream cone from a street vendor. I don’t know the details of why he couldn’t meet with me on that day, but from my perspective he picked getting ice cream over meeting with one of his future constituents.
After that meeting I was also scheduled to meet with my Congressional Rep, Joe Barton. We had a short meeting before I had to rush off to meet the rest of my group. I mentioned this briefly in my last Mansfield Speaks speech, but as I was leaving the Rayburn House Office Building, I was alone in an elevator with a guy in a suit who looked to be in his 30’s or 40’s. He got off the elevator before I did, and as he was getting off, he squeezed my ass. I was so startled by it that it took me a little while to process what had just happened. I was 16.
The way Ted Cruz voted today, he basically said that what happened to me in that elevator two years ago was okay. I already knew that he doesn’t care about the opinion of young people in his state, but now I know he doesn’t care about the women either.
In contrast, Beto O’Rourke has expressed that if he were in Ted Cruz’s position, he definitely would have voted NO to Kavanaugh, because he believes survivors. If you go on Beto’s website, he has a whole issues tab dedicated to women’s health alone. He cares about equality and wants to close the gender pay gap.
Beto is currently on a college tour around Texas. He’s already been to UT, Baylor, UTSA and many more. He has spent a good portion of his campaign appealing to young voters, because he knows we are the future. He sees the value in us and wants to make sure that we are heard.
I have spent a good chunk of today being angry at our country and it’s leaders. Brett Kavanaugh is only 53 years old, which means we could be stuck with him for the next 30+ years (which is terrifying). But it’s politicians like Beto O’Rourke who also give me hope. It’s good men and women like him who decide that it’s worth it to put themselves in the public eye in order to run for office, to hopefully make America a better place for everyone.
I will be graduating from the University of Missouri in 2022 with a dual degree in journalism and political science. My hope is to be a media liaison for a politician. And I would consider it an honor to work for Beto O’Rourke. But in order for that to happen, I need everyone I know to go out and VOTE so we can get this man into office. So please do.