On Monday, I was delighted to learn that Beto O’Rourke announced his intent to take on Greg Abbott in the 2022 gubernatorial race. Abbott, in my opinion, has a documented record of disregarding the interests of Texans in order to selfishly promote his own political fortune.
In addition to enacting several controversial and unpopular policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Abbott is now a symbol of how the Republican Party has been hijacked by former President Donald Trump and his acolytes.
It’s time for Texas voters to ask: What do we know about Abbott, and is he worthy of a second term in office?
As a resident of Texas for more than 40 years, allow me to offer some of the things we have learned about Abbott, all of which should be of concern to Republicans, Democrats and independents as they contemplate their vote.
Abbott is not a conservative; his actions on COVID show he has abandoned the conservative principle that the local officials, not the state government, should make decisions about how to respond to problems like COVID.
Abbott doesn’t care about the health of people; his responses both to the pandemic and the state’s power grid crisis last winter cost lives.
Abbott is not pro-business. To the contrary, his recent executive order forbidding businesses from imposing mandatory requirements to protect their workers proves this point.
Abbott is a political opportunist, caring primarily, perhaps exclusively, about his own political future. His unconstitutional abortion law, action on the border and attempt to make books in schools an issue show that he places politics above all else.
Abbott is a hypocrite, making statements and implementing policies that contradict what he previously said and did.
Abbott is the archetype of what is wrong with politics at large in the U.S.
Abbott is far from a shining example of what we desire of the University of Texas at Austin alumni. To paraphrase UT’s mantra, “what starts with Abbott changes the world — but in a negative way.” He allowed Breitbart News to hold an exclusive interview with him on the 50-yard line of UT’s stadium.
Abbott disregards the truth, erroneously blaming Biden for the border crisis when much of the current border policy was implemented by Trump.
Abbott is guided by fear rather than courage and conviction, behaving in ways designed not to alienate Trump and Trump’s base.
Abbott appointed a secretary of state, the person overseeing Texas elections, who represented Trump in a lawsuit challenging the results of the 2020 election in Pennsylvania and was a supporter of Trump’s “Big Lie.”
After Abbott received a large court settlement following a tree falling on him, he was responsible for tort reform legislation that put a cap on liability settlements for others.
As a result of all of these, one might correctly infer that Abbott is unethical, lacking sufficient integrity and moral compass.
With 2022 approaching, voters should pay close attention to and be wary of Abbott’s rhetoric and decisions — and what that portends for the future of America’s great experiment. To be clear, what Abbott is doing constitutes more than a garden variety political issue. It is about the health and well-being of Texans, as well as the health of our democratic republic.
Because of this, I plan to vote for Beto O’Rourke — someone who has been an outspoken and forceful advocate for the residents of this state.