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There are no heroes today


I remember it like it was 3,612 days ago. I was sitting in the living room with my mother as I watched then Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, become 44th President of the United States of America.

I don’t remember the channel it was on, what I was eating, or what I was thinking. But I distinctly remember my mother. She was half awake, rather half asleep as she woke to the results.

Her face was in shock—a momentary disbelief—then the tears started to flow. My mother, a black woman (not African-American), and a daughter of two Puerto Rican parents witnessed a man of color elected to the highest position of power in the United States.

The election went beyond politics for my mother, it meant something to see Obama get elected, regardless of his forthcoming decisions during his eight years as president. I had a hard time understanding that then, but I get it now.

The optics around President Obama’s time in office was enough for many—excluding his detractors—his image represented one of hope, inspiration and celebrity.

I get why our leaders need to give people hope. Life can be hard to bare. I understand why it’s important our leaders inspire us. Ingenuity is the driving force behind innovation. I also understand why society exalts our leaders with blind faith, praise and admiration.

But I don’t agree with it, not even in the slightest. So why does this matter now? Obama is out of office, Trump is our president and despite his fervent supporters, he’s arguably the most hated president we have ever had.

It matters because we still continue to do this, whether it be republican, democrat or independent. It’s either love or hate. In actuality, it should be indifference. On November 6, the midterm elections will take place, and as always, they will have major ramifications.

In Texas, it’s huge. Cruz vs. O’Rourke. By now you should know the players, what they stand for and what is at stake. I’ll spare you the details.

Regardless of the results, do one thing, be skeptical. If Cruz wins, it’s business as usual, the perpetual red state prevails. Liberals will continue to hate him and oddly enough, so will conservatives.

If O’Rouke wins, conservatives will find ways to hate him, which is expected, but it’s the unabashed-young-liberal voters who need to think clearly. Especially El Pasoans. Finally, there is someone, somewhat like us, representing us on a national stage.

I know it’s great. He’s awesome. Energetic. Funny.  And every other nice adjective inbetween.

So what? You shouldn’t care if he skateboards, flippantly use curse-words in his town hall speeches and was in a rock band. It doesn’t matter if he exudes all the traits and characteristics of a trustworthy and admirable person.

He’s a politician and that should make you skeptical. It’s not about love or hate and trust or distrust, just be skeptical.

Eight years ago we did the very same thing that is happening now. A young vibrant politician entered our lives, saying all the right things, giving us hope and inspiration. In return, we lionized him.  

His credible detractors aside, when it came time to be skeptical, we weren’t. When it came time to be critical we weren’t. And when he left office, we thought the world was going to end.

To be fair, Obama did some good/great things: stopping a great depression, introducing health care reform, while holding some liberal principals when it came to gay rights and climate change.

And he also did some bad: increasing the national debt, suspect treatment of whistleblowers, while conducting morally reprehensible “signature” drone strikes in the Middle East. He was a moderate centrist masquerading as a progressive of hope and change.

Granted, not every decision a president makes good or bad is all up to them. But we can’t excuse the bad and applaud the good.

Hopefully, we don’t do the same again, whether it be Cruz or O’Rourke. Actions speak louder than words. Ignore their words and be hyper-vigilant of their actions.

Javier Cortez may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Javier Cortez, Staff Reporter
Javier Cortez is a staff reporter for The Prospector. He is a senior multimedia journalism major, with a minor in English Rhetoric. Javier was born and raised in El Paso, TX and before coming to UTEP in the summer of 2012, he graduated from Irvin High School, where he was a four-year varsity tennis player, a member of student council and a class officer for his graduating class. He has also worked for the El Paso Diablos as a sports information intern on their media relations team. In his spare time, Javier loves to write columns for the perspectives section in the school newspaper—whether it is sports, pop culture, religion, and society he loves to write about it. To go along with writing, Javier loves reading anything about sports, religion, and non-fiction.
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There are no heroes today