During a recent interview, Democratic rising star Beto O’Rourke questioned whether the United States should continue to abide by the Constitution as it is more than 200 years old.
The Washington Post’s Jenna Johnson asked him about whether the U.S. could change the way it approached many pressing domestic and international issues, to which the Texas congressman said: “I’m hesitant to answer.”
From the Washington Examiner:
During an interview with the Washington Post, the potential 2020 contender was pressed on whether he believed the U.S. could reinvent how it approached divisive issues that have contributed to current political paralysis or whether he thought it was impossible for the country to introduce any reforms.
The former three-term congressman, while vehemently opposed to Trump’s calls for a border wall, could not provide the Post with a solution to stem the number of foreigners who illegally overstay their visas other than working more closely with Mexico to better monitor entries and departures.
O’Rourke’s exact words were:
“I’m hesitant to answer it because I really feel like it deserves its due, and I don’t want to give you a — actually, just selfishly, I don’t want a sound bite of it reported, but, yeah, I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work? Can an empire like ours with a military presence in over 170 countries around the globe, with trading relationships … and security agreements in every continent, can it still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?”
During the interview, the progressive star said he did not know how to fix the ongoing immigration problem and offered little more than a cooperation deal with Mexico.
From the Washington Post:
It noted that most undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States in the past decade came not over the border but on visas that then expired.
So what should be done to address visa overstays?
“I don’t know,” O’Rourke said, pausing in a lengthy interview.
O’Rourke, who represented a border district in the House for six years, talked through the issue and came up with a possible solution: The United States could harmonize its visa system with Mexico’s to keep better track of who is coming into the country and leaving it.
“That’s an answer,” O’Rourke said, “but that’s something that we should be debating.”
The Texan suggested a middle-ground approach that is not too concrete, or divisive.
“That’s a problem when you’re like, ‘It will be a wall,’ or ‘It will be this,’ or ‘We can only do it with this,’” O’Rourke said. “The genius is we can nonviolently resolve our differences, though I won’t get to my version of perfect or I, working with you, will get to something better than what we have today . . . It’s rare that someone’s ever been able to impose their will unilaterally in this country. We don’t want that.”
O’Rourke insisted that instead of a single person governing what they think should fix the problem—hinting at President Trump and the border wall—the American people should decide for themselves what they think will fix the problem.
“I trust the wisdom of people. And I’m confident — especially after having traveled Texas for two years — people are good, fundamentally, and if given the choice to do the right thing, they will. To do the good thing, they will,” he said.
Here’s more from the Washington Post interview:
When asked whether he agrees with Trump’s plan to quickly withdraw troops from Syria, O’Rourke said he would like to see “a debate, a discussion, a national conversation about why we’re there, why we fight, why we sacrifice the lives of American service members, why we’re willing to take the lives of others” in all the countries where the U.S. is involved.
“There may be a very good reason to do it. I don’t necessarily understand — and I’ve been a member of Congress for six years,” O’Rourke said. “We haven’t had a meaningful discussion about these wars since 2003.”
Asked about the “Green New Deal” being crafted by Democrats to dramatically curb climate change emissions and heavily invest in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, he praised it as a “bold” start that avoided “wishy-washy change.”