It finally happened, the internet caught up to a presidential candidate. No, not Steve King asking Google execs to explain his iPhone or Sonya Sotomayor awkwardly trying to understand net neutrality. Not another “covfefe” incident, and no member of congress tried to search “how to pass bill” and posted a Facebook status. This isn’t old people not getting the internet, this is a teenager knowing how to use the internet, and knowing how to use it far too well.
Beto O’Rourke, the hip and trendy former representative from Texas and challenger to Ted Cruz’s senate seat, was the member of a “hacker collective,” which I’m pretty sure is basically the 1990’s equivalent to being in a meme group on Tumblr, but maybe edgier?
O’Rourke was a punk rocker, and an anarchist, all while attending an expensive boarding school in Virginia. He was self-righteous about how right his opinions on music were. He had terrible political positions. He told his mom it’s not a phase. I don’t actually know that last one for sure, but I think we all know it happened.
He did everything that every edgy, self-absorbed teenager does, but he’s the first to do it while it was possible for him to keep a solid written record of it.
And you know what? I think it was a phase. Beto O’Rourke was as “punk rock” as any other teenager looking for attention, and he’s as “punk rock” now as any other adult who grew up and matured past that. There are plenty of reasons to disregard him as a presidential candidate, from his lack of experience to a conflicting voting record, but being a teenager isn’t one of them.