Beto O’Rourke is an undistinguished former congressman from El Paso, Texas.
His claim to fame is that he almost beat Sen. Ted Cruz for his Senate seat after Cruz stressed his donor network near the breaking point with a presidential campaign and then further tested the resolve of Republican voters by refusing to endorse his party’s presidential nominee in the biggest speech of his life.
Yes, after all that, O’Rourke still lost. And he would have lost bigly if Cruz had had a more competent opposition research team. Among other things, it has come out that O’Rourke once wrote stories under the pen name Psychedelic Warlord and that one of the stories chronicled a child-killing murder spree.
Naturally, O’Rourke declared himself “not proud of” his earlier writing and turned around and ran for the Democratic nomination for president.
And in that presidential pursuit, O’Rourke had continued to be undistinguished. A recent YouGov/CBS Iowa poll, for instance, found him several leagues behind even South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
So this grasper from El Paso turned around and threw what some are calling a Fail Mary pass. He proposed going after Christians who refuse to bend the knee on gay marriage.
During another fake CNN town hall meeting in L.A. last week, host Don Lemon asked O’Rourke if religious institutions should lose their tax exemption if they oppose gay marriage. O’Rourke said “yes” and then explained his thinking.
There can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us. And so as president, we’re going to make that a priority and we are going to stop those who are infringing upon the human rights of our fellow Americans.
And there you have it. Christians and especially conservative Christians are often said to be intolerant, but then progressives like O’Rourke say that bakers had damned well better bake that gay wedding cake if they want to stay in business, and if ministers under his regime decline to perform gay nuptials, there goes the church’s “tax break.”
Never mind that gay marriage is now the law of the land in all 50 statues and Guam by order of the Supreme Court. Never mind, also, that it was already starting to win at the ballot box when the Supreme Court decided to end that debate. And never mind that the Supreme Court decision in question explicitly affirmed the First Amendment rights of those who disagree.
In Beto-ville, that’s not enough. You. Must. Approve. Or. Else. Any doubts, any deviations, will be called a “denial of human rights” and met with the full force of the state to shut you right up. And of course, the angry crowd cheered this nakedly illiberal proposal.
I want to tell my Democratic friends how foolish this is. We might have agreements or disagreements on many matters of policy, but this is an existential threat to my religion, and I have to take that seriously. My priest couldn’t comply simply because of a change in tax law. That’s not how religion works.
The logical end result of President Beto or anything like him would be the government padlocking churches and cathedrals and shutting down religious hospitals. Perhaps some religious would have to do time to make an example out of them.
This is how you got Trump. Likely, this is how you reelect Trump. You give folks who are not looking for a fight no choice but to oppose you with everything they’ve got.