I cried twice last night. The first time was at about 9:10pm when ABC called the race between Beto and Cruz. The second was at 11:14pm while watching Beto concede.
Like a lot of my fellow progressive Texans, I suspect, my first reaction was a mix of exasperation, exhaustion, and “of fucking course we voted Ted Cruz back in.”
The second sob session was different. It hit me deep, listening to Beto talk, how much hope I’d allowed myself to experience. How I had gone, over the past 15 or so months, from “nope, never” to “unlikely, but possible,” to “maybe, but prolly not,” and, finally, to “I believe this can happen.”
What I didn’t realize was that something else was smuggled in with that hope.
In the year and a half, I’d been following Beto, and talking to people about him, and listening to his speeches, seeing his platform evolve, watching him take ever-more progressive stances on positions I care deeply about, seeing him become a national phenomenon, then — despite the odds and conventional political wisdom and nay-saying — seeing him get so damned close to winning… and that closeness — a few percentage points! — unraveled something in me.
Texas is no longer a place where I live despite my progressive politics.
Texas became a shining light of progressivism that illuminated the nation.
Beto did that. He gave that to us.
I know he said he’s not going to run in 2020. And I know he’s already given us so much. In hours, in miles traveled, in moving the needle, in hope and passion and inspiration.
But I made this shirt for myself to take just a little bit more from Beto. To take a feeling with me these next couple of years: progressivism is Texan now, y’all.
And I’m going to be so fucking proud to wear that on my chest.
Hey! Important note: This shirt is not officially affiliated with the Beto for Texas (or Beto for America) campaign, and any dollars you gift (whatever you pay beyond the cost of the shirt + printing) will not be donated to Beto. It was created prior to Beto announcing his run for President, with the hope of him running for Senate in Texas again in 2020 (or Governor!), and donating the funds raise to that campaign. I’m not removing the shirt now that he’s moved on to bigger/green pastures (for posterity and transparency).