Yesterday, we wrapped up our 34th day straight on the road with 6,803.0 miles on the odometer.
MY NOTE: This photo is particularly poignant and significant, if you can read the road sign. The history of how a nearby ghost town got its name is interesting, and I tend toward the first one provided, here: http://ghosttowns.com/states/tx/boracho.html GO BETO!
On Thursday in Sweetwater, Tom Ritchey introduced me at our town hall at the Argos bookstore. Amy and I had met Tom and his wife at a gas station in Fort Davis at the outset of this trip, weeks ago. We had just picked up our kids from Prude Ranch and were on our way to Alpine when Tom took the time to introduce himself and say hello to us.
It made me happy to see us come full circle -- after traveling to Del Rio, Corpus Christi, Nacogdoches, DeSoto, Galveston, Missouri City, Longview, Muleshoe, Austin, Comanche, Edna, Houston, Alice, Victoria, Brownsville, Beaumont, Tyler, Laredo, Iraan, Lubbock, Rockport, McAllen, Lampasas and many, many more communities -- to be back in West Texas, to see Tom again in his hometown, where he is the winningest football coach in Sweetwater history, and to have such a great conversation with the community about anything and everything on our minds...to share my impressions of the amazing Collegiate High public school I had visited earlier in the day in Roscoe, to listen to those I want to serve tell me about healthcare, education, delivering for our veterans -- it just made me grateful to be doing this and to be doing it with so many wonderful people.
Yesterday, we closed out our last stop on this road trip at a rally in El Paso, the town we started from 34 days before, the place Amy and I are raising Ulysses, Molly and Henry, the center of my world. Today, I am thinking through all of the amazing people we’ve met, all the extraordinary volunteers and field staff who made these meetings possible (shoutout to our Ambassadors!), all of the good energy. Everywhere we go in Texas, we find that people are focused on the future.
We’re not running against anyone else or another political party. We’re running to do our best for this country, for every one of us. To make sure that we can all learn to our full potential by getting behind our public educators; to ensure that we are all well enough to contribute to our maximum capacity in life because we will lead on universal, guaranteed healthcare; to use our standing as the most diverse state in the country to rewrite our immigration laws in our own image; to ensure that our criminal justice system treats everyone with dignity, respect and provides equal justice; to know that every one of us can find work that ensures purpose, function and a living wage, that we have access to the higher education, the skills and the training to be able to find it; to be there for those who’ve borne the battle, with resources, oversight and accountability for veterans’ services -- to move forward, always. With confidence, courage, strength and, in Truman’s words, “with an unstoppable determination to do the job at hand.” Leave the fear, the anxiety, the hatred and the smallness behind.
This is the most encouraged, the most hopeful, the most excited I’ve been for the future of this country. Despite the disappointments we might face, the dysfunction that defines so much of our national government today, the deep damage we do with policies of family separation or trade wars that hurt our farmers, ranchers and exporters -- I know that we are a match for this moment, that Texas will help lead this country in a better direction.
I know that because I’ve met you everywhere in Texas, in every county in the state. I’ve seen the determination to do better for yourself, for your kids, for this state, for this country, for this generation and for every generation that follows.
You’ve inspired me, filled me with hope and you give me confidence that we will win this election and that we will deliver on the very high expectations that we’ve set with, by and for one another.
I am grateful to be doing this with you.