When might we know if Beto is making a 2020 White House run? Perhaps not for a long while O'Rourke could be among the favorites to win the Democratic nomination, but the field is expected to be a crowded one.
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I'm writing to you from El Paso, where it has been a beautiful morning so far. I hope you are doing well and that your week is off to a strong start.
I spent seven days on the road earlier this month visiting five states, and I thought I'd share some reflections from that trip. It was a great chance to go to places I hadn't been, meet people I never would have met otherwise and think through where I am, and where the country is, right now.
Hope you enjoy reading these
There are five entries, each linked below:
(But if you want to just skip to the conclusion, this is what I wrote at the end of my last entry:)
My mind wandered to all the people I'd met over the last week, thought about how generous and kind everyone was, no matter where I traveled throughout the five states I'd visited. Villages, towns, cities. How inspiring, and funny, and strong people are. Kids and college students looking forward. Older people reflecting on where they'd been and how they got there. Over the course of the trip I'd gone from thinking about myself and how stuck I was, to being moved by the people I'd met. Forgot myself in being with others.
We're all connected, related, part of one another's lives through the stories we tell ourselves and each other. For good and for bad. Our long memories hold the stories of what our people accomplished, but they also hold the prejudices, the injustices, the harm that we've received from others. Our short term memories can forget the kindness most recently rendered, our vision can become focused on the divisions and lose sight of the way up and out. And there is always someone, usually on cable TV or Twitter, to remind you how small or stupid you're supposed to feel. Our side is truly American. Yours, not so much.
In the Letter from Birmingham Jail, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. writes that "we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
To the idea that those who think differently than the majority, those who come to different conclusions on the issues we care most about, are somehow un-American, or "outsiders" he writes: "Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds."