Beto O’Rourke is furthering his followers’ knowledge about the U.S.-Mexico border with a series he calls “Who are the people of the border?” on Instagram, which most recently followed him on a trip to the dentist.
The former Texas congressman and potential 2020 presidential candidate began his social media campaign on Tuesday evening before President Donald Trump‘s national address appealing for funding for a border wall. In an act of rebuttal of the president’s objective, O’Rourke used his social media platform to highlight the lives of people who live in his neighborhood of El Paso, Texas. But he didn’t stop there.
On Wednesday night, O’Rourke captured a video of a woman named Gwen while in a local sports venue, who spoke about her “pleasant” experience living in McAllen, Texas, which is on the U.S.-Mexico border. On Thursday, however, he went one step further with the series, as he popped up on his followers’ Instagram feeds with a dental tool in his mouth.
“So, I’m here at the dentist and we’re going to continue our series on the people of the border,” O’Rourke said in the video.
Although people were surprised to see the unflattering clip at first, O’Rourke quickly flipped the camera to his dental hygienist, Diana, who spoke about growing up in El Paso with a mother from Mexico and a father from the United States.
When O’Rourke asked Diana what she wants people to know about the border, the hygienist replied, “It’s a beautiful community, we all support each other, we love each other. It’s not what everybody else thinks badly about us. It’s actually a wonderful place to live and grow up.”
Plenty of people have taken to Twitter to comment on O’Rourke’s tactic, with some calling it “real” and even “brilliant.”
I love it! Keeping it real and asking regular people what their experiences are and how they feel is exactly what we need! I’m sick of the out of touch and selfish, agenda driven disconnected cand. looking only for themselves. Grounding in with everyday workers is what we need!
— Arielle R Phoenix 🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🇺🇸💫⭐️🌟✨🌈❤️😇🐬🐳 (@PhoenixArielle) January 10, 2019
I think it’s brilliant. This is from a few seconds of footage that is part of a longer instagram series documenting the everyday experiences of people living at the border. If you watch, he is interviewing his dental hygienist. But it got us talking, didn’t it?
— Jenny Tinch (@Tincheroo) January 10, 2019
Peak 2019. Shows that Beto’s got a sense of humour…and insists on listening to people even while getting his plaque removed.
“If you don’t know by now, don’t mess with it” – Mr. Natural
— B.G. Pelaire (@bgpelaire) January 10, 2019
He’s actually talking to everyday Texans about border security.
— Dem Texas Girls (@TexDem16) January 10, 2019
Others, however, have suggested that it’s out of touch and was taken too far.
Beto will need a few more field trips to learn that "regular people" can't afford to visit the dentist.
— Mark Kalafatas (@MarkKalafatas) January 10, 2019
@BetoORourke please don’t get a colonoscopy the next couple of years
— David Berkowitz #ces #ces2019 (@dberkowitz) January 10, 2019
Although it’s difficult to predict where O’Rourke will take this social media campaign in the future, it’s become evident that it’s catching on. From conversations on Twitter, to fellow politician Cory Booker‘s own miniseries on his Instagram Stories on Thursday, the thing that’s for sure is that O’Rourke is starting a different kind of conversation around immigration.
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