An elderly wheelchair-bound Texas woman, 77-year-old Pamela, toted her oxygen tank to the polls in order to cast her ballot for Beto “Baeto” O’Rourke today. Given O’Rourke’s inspiring campaign and message, she was understandably emotional.
“You told me this is very emotional for you,” MSNBC anchor Garrett Haake said to her. “Why?”
“Because I wasn’t expecting it,” Pamela replied. “Because we think [O’Rourke is] pretty important. And we’re honored that he was here.”
When she was asked why she felt O’Rourke was so important, she had a pretty clear answer, “Because he represents everything Trump isn’t.”
She’s right about that. For one, O’Rourke is honest (maybe even to a fault) and he shuns the petty politics of personal attacks. Trump does not. O’Rourke ran a big, uplifting campaign on the issues and not Trump’s small-minded campaign of xenophobic sloganeering. O’Rourke’s message is unifying and uplifting—not divisive and angry—and it instills hope instead of fear.
“I give [O’Rourke] a lot of credit for standing up and saying what he thinks and for being willing to represent so many people who are like-minded. It means a lot. We’re just so proud,” Pamela continued.
That’s the power of conviction politics. O’Rourke ran an unapologetically idealistic progressive campaign firmly rooted in Democratic values. He didn’t moderate, he didn’t move to the center, and he didn’t equivocate. He said what he was for and argued—passionately—why it was worth fighting for.
Seeing a Democrat who’s not afraid to take his own side in a fight (to borrow a phrase) is inspiring. The army of volunteers he inspired with his positive message is the biggest reason O’Rourke has a shot in a red state like Texas the first place. (Ok, that and the fact Ted Cruz is about as likable as a canker sore when you’re slurping a scalding hot bowl of tomato soup.)
“We all still have a chance to have a decent country and decent values with decent relationships with other people,” Pamela said, choking up.
If 77-year-old Pamela can wheel herself—and her oxygen tank—to the polls, you’ve got no excuse. Go vote, don’t leave the line and don’t leave the polling station until you cast your ballot. Do it for Pamela.
Grab a box of tissues and watch the whole thing here:
WATCH: Pamela, 77, with her oxygen tank and her “BETO FOR SENATE” T-shirt, fights back tears while talking about seeing Rep. O'Rourke while they both voted in Texas this morning:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 6, 2018
h/t: Raw Story