With a partisan divide as vicious and seemingly unable to be repaired as American politics under President Donald Trump, it is rare to see candidates reach across the aisle in support and with empathy.
O’Rourke’s tweet follows news that protesters demanded answers from their senator on the vilification of sexual assault accusers coming forward since Cruz sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will be hearing from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she testifies regarding the alleged attempted rape she says happened in high school when Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, pushed her onto a bed, tried to remove her clothing, and covered her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream.
According to Time:
‘Videos posted online by a Washington, D.C.-based activist group called Smash Racism DC showed a group of protesters confronting Cruz and his wife, Heidi, at a restaurant, chanting “we believe survivors.” One video showed an activist, who identified herself as a survivor of sexual assault and a constituent of his, asking Cruz directly about Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women, which he denies.
‘“I know that you’re very close friends with Mr. Kavanaugh,” the activist says in the video. “And do you believe survivors, sir?”
‘As the couple sits down at a table at the restaurant, the activist continues: “Senator, I have a right to know what your position is on Brett Kavanaugh.”’
While O’Rourke’s tweet was admirable – it was certainly offered with a measure of grace Ted Cruz, as well as the rest of the GOP, has not shown Democratic candidates – it’s also controversial and takes a difficult position with which to agree. It is true that Cruz’s wife and daughters are not responsible for the decisions or actions that Sen. Cruz alone owns, and these types of spontaneous protests that force government officials out of public spaces gives Republicans an excuse to say that the left is violent.
On the other hand, the left is not only protesting, but loudly pushing back against violence. Ted Cruz has not acted, in his elected position, to protect the children of undocumented immigrants seeking asylum who have been taken away, placed in detention centers, sexually assaulted, forced to take psychiatric medication, and placed in home where they will never be reunited with their families.
He has not condemned the president, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, or any other Republican who has attacked a woman coming forward to tell her story of sexual assault. He has said that her “allegations are serious and deserve to be treated with respect,” but he has remained silent while his party members have said atrocious things about her for daring to report sexual assault against a powerful man.
No, Cruz’s wife and children aren’t responsible for Ted Cruz’s actions, but Dr. Ford and the children of asylum-seekers are experiencing true violence. Eventually, American citizens were going to fight back. It is far past time for being polite and observing social niceties. We are a country who has always fought to defend our rights. Our government no longer seems to be interested in helping us do so.
The activist who confronted Cruz inside the restaurant was correct. We deserve to know where our lawmakers stand on these issues of human rights. We also deserve a voice in those issues, and politicians should be listening.
Twitter was conflicted about O’Rourke’s tweet. Read some of their responses below: