A contrast of conveying a political campaign.

Contrasting political campaigns

The week before election night, Wichita Falls hosted U.S. Congressman and Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke, and U.S. Senator and Republican candidate, Ted Cruz. I had the privilege to do cover and interview the two biggest individuals in Texas with the whole nation seeing Wichita Falls at the epicenter.

As a reporter, I had prior knowledge that O’Rourke and Cruz had contrasting ideas in regards to the issues of immigration, healthcare, educational issues and the economy. Yet, what I did not have a prior knowledge of was O’Rourke and Cruz also had contrasting ideas in regards to running a campaign. When I did coverage of O’Rourke’s event, it was unceremonious as O’Rourke made a last minute stop in Wichita Falls. He was standing at a trunk of a van with a speaker up in the middle of a prairie dog park, and he was trying to convey a message that there is a campaign that embraces civility upon a politics that is dividing Americans.

In contrast, attending Cruz’s event required registration. If O’Rourke’s event was unceremonious, Cruz’s event was formal. There was music being played throughout the Akin Auditorium as the crowd awaits Cruz. When Cruz arrived at the scene, I could see why he is an award-winning debater. The message of his campaign is that if you want to maintain the strong economy, subscribe to the traditional values of the right by re-electing Cruz. If O’Rourke’s rhetoric was as positive as a progressive, but vague then Cruz’s rhetoric was as pragmatic as a traditionalist, but detailed.

Listening to both sides of the story serves as a reminder that our right to vote as U.S citizen should not be taken for granted. Around the world, some people do not have the right to have a voice in political matters. My family were refugees from the tyrannical and authoritarian regime of Khmer Rogue as they escaped Cambodia with 1/4 of the population being wiped out within four years. In the United States, we are grateful to live in a representative democracy because we elect who represents the majority of the constituent. Use the privilege to not just stand up for your belief, but also exercise your right to vote. Do not complain about the winner if you did not vote. As the late Theodore Roosevelt said, “The man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything,”.