Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, March 20, 2019
Former Texas congressman Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke announced his run for president in a glowing Vanity Fair profile last week.
Mr. O’Rourke is one of the strongest Democratic contenders in the 2020 race. He netted over $6 million in donations within the first 24 hours of his announcement, and polls put him in the top five candidates for Democratic voters. In the modern Democrat Party, he may seem to be an unlikely contender because he is a rich white man.
Mr. O’Rourke may have figured out a way to survive in a party dominated by anti-white grievance and minority politics: apologize for being white and agree that whiteness is bad. “The government at all levels is overly represented by white men,” he told Vanity Fair. “That’s part of the problem, and I’m a white man. So if I were to run, I think it’s just so important that those who would comprise my team looked like this country. If I were to run, if I were to win, that my administration looks like this country. It’s the only way I know to meet that challenge.”
Mr. O’Rourke added, “But I totally understand people who will make a decision based on the fact that almost every single one of our presidents has been a white man, and they want something different for this country. And I think that’s a very legitimate basis upon which to make a decision.”
There was more crawling. “As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on, or take for granted, I’ve clearly had advantages over the course of my life,” Mr. O’Rourke told NBC host Chuck Todd. “I think recognizing that and understanding that others have not, doing everything I can to ensure that there is opportunity and the possibility for advancement and advantage for everyone is a big part of this campaign and a big part of the people who comprise this campaign.”
The former congressman released his 10-point immigration plan in February. He says we have a lot of illegals in the country because we have made it hard for them to go home. He believes President Trump’s proposed wall will “ensure death,” and that since existing walls have already killed countless people, he would tear them down.
Mr. O’Rourke wants a pathway to citizenship for all illegals and to give citizenship immediately to illegals who came as minors. He would increase America’s annual visa caps and make it easier to apply for asylum. The plan implies that we would give even more foreign aid to Latin America and end our efforts to curb drug trafficking overseas. He demands that we speak of immigrants only in certain ways: “No more ‘invasions’, ‘animals’, ‘rapists and criminals’, ‘floods’, ‘crisis’ — dehumanizing rhetoric leads to dehumanizing policies. We cannot sacrifice our humanity in the name of security — or we risk losing both.”
In other words, Mr. O’Rourke would sharply increase immigration, create millions of new citizens who would vote Democrat, and bring in more drugs and crime.
The then-Senate candidate wrote an op-ed last August outlining his vision for “criminal justice reform,” complaining that blacks are disproportionately jailed and suspended from school. He said prisons are the “New Jim Crow.” Mr. O’Rourke went on to demand an end to private prisons, the war on drugs, mandatory minimum sentencing for “non-violent drug offenses,” and bail bonds. All this is to help criminals, not keep Americans safer.
The former Texas congressman assumes white officers shoot black men because of racism. He told a black congregation last September: “How can we continue to lose the lives of unarmed black men in the United States of America at the hands of white police officers? That is not justice. That is not us. That can and must change.”
Pandering isn’t working. BuzzFeed reported in January that many non-white activists still don’t trust Mr. O’Rourke and think he ignored non-white voters during his 2018 campaign. “Beto had to reach black and brown people who didn’t generally vote, and he didn’t do that,” Black Lives Matter organizer Kandice Webber told BuzzFeed. Another Black Lives Matter organizer claimed, “All Beto did was fire up white people.”
Mr. O’Rourke did do well with white suburbanites. This nearly won him the Senate race in Texas but could support claims that he appeals only to privileged white people.
The black news site The Root patronized Mr. O’Rourke’s acknowledgment of white privilege: “While it’s nice O’Rourke has jumped on the whitesplaining bandwagon early, he’s going to have to dig a little deeper.”
Liberal columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. claims Latinos see Mr. O’Rourke as a privileged white guy who ignores them. According to Mr. Navarrette and the Hispanics he’s talked to, the worst thing about the candidate is his name. Mr. O’Rourke’s father, Patrick O’Rourke, once admitted he gave his son the nickname “Beto” to help him if he ever ran for office in El Paso. This act of “cultural appropriation,” as Mr. Navarrette puts it, could hurt the 2020 hopeful among Hispanics who see him as an impostor. “Given his privilege, it is irritating that he seems to pretend that he knows and understands what bothers a demographic he’s not part of,” writes Mr. Navarrette.
Off-white CNN senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson blasted Mr. O’Rourke for traveling around America before announcing his 2020 candidacy, declaring that the trip “drips with white male privilege.” “[T]he fact that he knows he has the freedom to cast about as a campaign-in-waiting forms, shows how much of his political identity is predicated on being white and male,” she wrote.
Surprisingly, Republicans are attacking him for the same reasons. The conservative Club for Growth is running an attack ad in Iowa that criticizes him for “white male privilege.” During the 2018 Senate race, Sen. Ted Cruz made ads complaining “Robert” hides behind “Beto” so he can “fit in” in Texas.
On St. Patrick’s Day, the official Republican National Committee Twitter account portrayed Mr. O’Rourke as an Irishman because of a 1998 DUI arrest. Commentators cried racism, but the RNC didn’t take the tweet down or apologize. You don’t have to apologize for negative stereotypes about white people.
Beto has a long road ahead of him. This is just the beginning, and he is already groveling. He will be an interesting test case. Will the Democrats accept a white man so long as he knows his place, or despise him all the more because he is an apologetic weakling?