The crushing sound you heard at the end of last week was that of my son's heart breaking. Not via an ill-fated romance. Or maybe it was. Not the cancellation of his favorite show. Or maybe it was. Not the breakup for his best-loved band. Or maybe it was.
It was something much, much worse.
Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the presidential race.
Feel free at this moment, if you don't know who Mister O'Rourke is, to breeze through the rest of this entry, stopping only long enough to ask yourself, "Why don't I know who Beto O'Rourke is?" He's the guy who the "president" referred to as a "poor bastard" who quit the race "like a dog." He's the guy who took on Ted Cruz for a Texas Senate seat. He's the guy who said, "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47." He's the guy my son wanted to become the next President of the United States.
And now that's not going to happen.
Beto O'Rourke suspended his campaign late last week, vowing to stay active in the fight to defeat the presumptive Republican nominee in 2020. Just not that active. Which puts my son in the awkward position of trying to find someone who can take the place of the one person who he felt could save this country. His hopes and dreams were all stacked up on that one guy to win, and now he's not even in the race.
Perhaps I'm overstating. I know that it was next to impossible four short years ago to get him interested in voting in his first election. We got him a ballot so that he could mail it in, and we did what we could to instruct him in the ways of the Force, but ultimately the midi-chlorians never coalesced and his enthusiasms did not translate into action. We cannot blame my son for the current state of affairs, since Hillary Clinton easily held the deep blue state of California, but it did nothing to instill democratic/Democratic fervor in him.
So you can imagine how proud we were when he picked a candidate heading into the coming fray. A highly principled man who was not afraid to take on the establishment. Running on the wind behind the slogan, "A campaign by all of us, for all of us," he was ready to speak his mind, kick ass and take names. My son followed him on Twitter.
He'll get over it. In time. And so will we, the American People. As the homogenization of the political process continues and we winnow down our choices to the safest possible alternatives. Does it sound like I'm hurt by Beto's departure too? I am. I have my son to thank for that.