As the 2020 election season kicks off, the Democratic field is beginning to take shape, with 16 Democrats announcing their candidacy as of March 21st. No candidate seems to attract more attention, positive and negative, than failed senatorial candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
Beto is 46-year-old father of 3 who served in the House of Representatives from 2013-2019. To many, he is seen as the “relatable” or “cool” candidate. While standing on tables, chairs, and freshly polished bar counters, Beto is able to naturally galvanize a large chunk of the Democratic base, as he came within a couple points of Senator Ted Cruz during the 2018 midterms.
In the age of Twitter, politicians from both sides take to the toxic website to express their beliefs, occasional meme, and subject themselves to warranted and unwarranted scrutiny from the American voter.
Beto and his gang of campaign staffers ran a fantastic campaign. Yes, the DNC pumped millions of dollars into the race, drastically outspending Ted Cruz, but a bipartisan lense has to recognize how close the final numbers were— and how well the campaign was run.
During Beto’s swift ascent into online popularity, his life was effectively torn apart and analyzed from the inside out, with a 1998 DWI episode taking center stage. He was appropriately criticized for this, with many wondering if he had the temperament and maturity to hold such a crucial position in American politics. His DWI charge, which was later dismissed, was a 26-year-old grown man acting with overall disregard for his moral compass.
This was “not misguided youthful exuberance” or a grant of relatability as fellow contributor Zach Ziegler puts it; this was and continues to be a serious and disturbing event that transpired 20 years ago, permanently scarring potential President Beto O’Rourke. A ‘misguided youthful act’ would consist of making stupid mistakes when you’re younger, like lighting your pants on fire or breaking your arm biking down a large hill. This shouldn’t be an event that we can “relate” to, because the average 26-year-old man doesn’t drive drunk while almost killing himself and another driver.
Just like the media did with President Trump, constantly attacking his apparent moral flaws and drawing wild theories about his temperament, the right should do the same with Beto O’Rourke. This is beyond a dumb mistake or the act of a misguided youth. A grown man running for president was charged with DWI when he was 26, and we can’t simply sweep this event under the rug.
I understand the ridiculousness of digging up a years old tweet that may contain some unprofessional words and trying to smear a politician with it, but Beto’s DWI is a different story.
If the GOP wants to get their hands dirty,— and they should— attacking the credibility of a popular Democratic candidate who IS polling well for a genuine fault should be a no-brainer.
Many on the right hammer Bernie Sanders for his virtual communism sympathizing, and rightfully attack former Vice President Joe Biden for his unusual infatuation with women and young children. How is Beto’s situation any different? Hint: It’s not.
Beto’s abhorrent and inexcusable behavior, even 20 years ago, is fair game for criticism. Could I think differently if he was running for a much smaller position? Of course. Being that he ran for a senate seat and his now running to be the most powerful man in the world, I think our criticism is justified.
Don’t get me wrong, the right’s main focus should be attacking what the candidates stand for, as most declared Democrats hold incredibly radical and un-American values. While doing this, we need to evaluate their character and bring to light their true colors— and that should include exposing the troubling past of Beto O’Rourke.
The media did the exact same to Donald Trump, and, while some may argue we shouldn’t stoop to their level, I disagree. The Democrats’ quest to retake control of the White House will stop at nothing.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.