Received this e-mail today from former presidential candidate, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D. TX) and his organization, Powered By People:
Texas is at the center of the constitutional crisis that will play out in our nation’s capital today.
The latest lurch towards authoritarianism — Donald Trump trying to shake down Georgia’s Secretary of State to overturn his loss there; members of Congress vowing to contest the results of our lawfully-decided Presidential election; reckless right-wing Republican media fanning the flames of sedition — is being aided and abetted by Texas’ junior senator, Ted Cruz, who will use his position of public trust to try to defy the will of millions of voters right from the floor of the U.S. Senate during today’s vote to certify the election results.
You already knew he was cynical and lacking any personal honor. That could explain his enthusiastic support of Trump, the man who insulted his wife and accused his father of assassinating JFK. He showed us he was willing to put his personal political career over concern for his family or the interests of his constituents, that he would dedicate himself in service to a man he once called a “sniveling coward,” a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.”
But what was hard to imagine — even in the case of Ted Cruz — was that he was willing to sell our democracy for another shot at being President.
Trump trying to take down the constitution on his own, maybe with an assist by Rudy Giuliani in front of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, is a farce. But with a cabal of corrupt Senators backing his bid to overturn a legally decided election today – it now veers perilously close to a tragedy for our democracy.
Because, even though this current effort to overturn the democratically-decided election for President will not succeed, it is now far more certain that a future effort will. The precedent will have been set, and someone more ruthless, cunning and intelligent than Trump will exploit it to overturn a future election, seize power and relegate this noble experiment in self government to the history books.
And Cruz is doing this — sacrificing our elections on the altar of his ambition — with only one purpose in mind: making himself the Republican nominee for President in 2024.
Our response at this moment defines our country’s future. We either satisfy ourselves with the cold comfort that the immediate attempt to overturn the election won’t succeed, maybe shrug off this seditious ploy as more “Cruz being Cruz,” or we decide that we’ll stand up to it and go on the offense to save our democracy.
That’s why I’m sending you this email.
Texas, with some amount of poetic political justice, could be the state that overcomes this effort to undermine our democracy by restoring faith in the very democratic institutions that are under attack by Cruz and his confederates.
If, in the most voter-suppressed state in the country, we are able to improve access to the ballot box, encourage ever greater turnout, and ensure that those communities targeted for intimidation and suppression are the focus of our work to safeguard democracy, we will be at the forefront of the democratic response to this authoritarian threat.
To do this, Powered by People will spend 2021 registering voters, holding in-person canvasses, and working to expand access to the franchise for our fellow Texans. We will build on the work of the more than 20,000 volunteers who joined our efforts in 2020, work that resulted in the registration of more than 200,000 new Texas voters ahead of the November election and one of the highest levels of voter turnout in Texas history.
I’m asking you to contribute what you can to ensure that we have the resources to get this done. As Stacey Abrams and the people of Georgia showed us last night, this work is not easy, and won’t be accomplished in one cycle. But if we stay after it, focus on connecting with voters who’ve been counted out or written off, and relentlessly pursue victory cycle after cycle, we will ultimately win Texas.
While some will cynically attempt to tear down what has been built over the last 245 years, together we will shore up, improve where necessary and restore faith in the institutions that have made the United States the greatest experiment in self government in human history.
I’m grateful to be in this fight with you,