Report from Texas:
Beto O’Rourke Fires Up the Base and Attracts Independents, Shows Dems a Path to Do Both.
Galloping Toward a Neck & Neck Photo Finish in a Red State.
By Al Giordano
(This report originally appeared in Issue #65 of Al Giordano’s América on October 29, 2018.)
There is an apocryphal story, popular among US Border Patrol agents in west Texas, about an old Mexican farmer who for years crossed the border each day from Ciudad Juárez into El Paso with a wheelbarrow full of dirt. Border agents suspected that the farmer was smuggling drugs or some other contraband, put on their latex gloves, dug through and sifted the dirt again and again. They brought drug-sniffing dogs in to help them. To their exasperation they never found anything remotely illegal and had to let the old man pass again and again.
For years Mexicans who live in border towns were allowed to cross freely back and forth within a limited number of miles: Juárez and El Paso’s three million residents have long been part of the same community.
As the story goes, the old farmer kept pushing that wheelbarrow daily across the Bridge of the Americas – known on the Mexico side as El Puente Libre or the Free Bridge – and eventually the Border Patrol agents would just wave at him as he went through.
One day the old farmer showed up at the bridge but without the wheelbarrow filled with dirt. “What happened?” the agents asked him. “Where is your dirt?”
“Oh, I’m retired now,” he said.
“Retired? Please don’t tell us you made a living selling dirt.”
The old man laughed. “No, sir. I made a very good living selling wheelbarrows for a much higher price in Texas than they cost in Chihuahua. You all were so obsessed with the dirt that you didn’t notice the real product.”
US Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke – the Democrats’ rock star of the 2018 midterm elections – grew up in that El Paso – Juárez metropolitan area. On his first date with his wife now of thirteen years, Amy…
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