But as I have written before, the policy promises that a candidate makes during his or her campaign are usually a better predictor of future stances than votes or positions taken well before the campaign. So O’Rourke’s more recent liberalism is important. And many of his current stances, the ones highlighted above, are decidedly not centrist.
To cherry-pick a few: Public opinion is divided on the NFL player protests, with nearly universal opposition among Republicans to kneeling. And just 17 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of Americans overall oppose the death penalty for people convicted of murder, according to a Pew Research Center poll from last year. That position doesn’t even unify Democrats, with 59 percent against the death penalty and 35 percent in favor. A 2018 Gallup poll showed similar results. Lots of white Americans think they are the ones facing discrimination, so I doubt that they will relate to O’Rourke’s white privilege comments.