Perhaps threatened by newcomer upstart Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke has made major changes to his stated policy platform in recent days — moving further to the left — culminating in a tweet issued Saturday, wherein Beto committed fully to the ideas of Democratic socialism.
O'Rourke, who hadn't articulated a national domestic policy until Saturday, appears to be further to the left than Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), two of the most leftward candidates in the race. In fact, based on his rhetoric, it seems Beto could be much closer to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) than any other of the 2020 Democratic contenders.
"The unprecedented concentration of wealth, power and privilege in the United States must be broken apart," O'Rourke tweeted. "Opportunity must be fully shared with all. We must all have the opportunity to succeed. Together. As one country."
The unprecedented concentration of wealth, power and privilege in the United States must be broken apart. Opportunity must be fully shared with all. We must all have the opportunity to succeed. Together. As one country.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 30, 2019
That's...rather extreme. Instead of simply redistributing wealth the way Warren, Harris and others are looking to do, with huge increases in income and corporate tax rates, O'Rourke seems to believe wealth, power, and "privilege" must be taken by force from those that hold them — and he's oddly vague on the details.
His speeches are lofty, but his concrete policy positions seem to begin and end with an open borders immigration policy and universal background checks for gun buyers — the only two issues he's been clear on thus far. Late last week, O'Rourke seemed to take an extreme position on abortion, claiming that he, as a male, had no right to interfere with a woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy, even up until the moment of birth.
This statement represents a similar extreme viewpoint on taxation, but a few Twitter users were quick to notice that if Beto O'Rourke wants to redistribute wealth, power, and privilege, by force, he should probably start with his own.
Have you told your wealthy father-in-law of your plans, Comrade?— Phineas Fahrquar (@irishspy) March 31, 2019
Also, where do you stand on the "kulak question?" https://t.co/vyWUTkTSYj
Lucky for Beto his billionaire father-in-law isn't on Twitter. https://t.co/XubWLaR5UI— Todd Kron (@Toddkron) March 30, 2019
Does this include your family’s billions? Just askin . . .— Violet Skyye (@Violetskyye) March 30, 2019
How much freaking money did you raise again? Wonder how many homeless could be fed and clothed if we took the money out of politics??? You have 0 room to use this argument.— Joey L Eddins (@joeybaker09) March 31, 2019
Others pointed out that O'Rourke shouldn't be so vague; if Communism is what O'Rourke wants, he should be clear about it.
i reject communism. https://t.co/uDcuJcaqm6— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 30, 2019
Still others pointed out that Beto O'Rourke's fresh new economic theory has flaws.
So if you take a bunch of wealth away from people who managed to accumulate it, did they really have opportunity to begin with? Does the fisherman have opportunity if the bear is 100% sure to maul him on the way home and steal his catch? https://t.co/FBXpQTxCEa— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) March 31, 2019
Ultimately, Beto O'Rourke has more than just socal media users to contend with. Opportunity abounds, thanks to a recovering economy, and there are more jobs available than there are unemployed Americans. Wages, as well, are at an all-time high. If opportunity is what you seek, America is currently in a position to provide, without breaking up concentrations of wealth, power, and privilege.