SAN DIEGO – Furious Democrats demand that I stop complaining and learn to love The Beto.
My criticism of a Texas-sized cultural enigma who changes his schtick like other people change cellphone companies has enraged both white liberals and Latino lefties. Beware the Beto Bots.
The white liberals prefer that Mexican-Americans serve up chips and not opinions. And they’re miffed that I rejected their choice for the preferred “Latino” 2020 presidential hopeful, after they went to the trouble of choosing him for me.
The Latino lefties have such low self-esteem and deep insecurities that they’re flattered that a handsome Irish-American who grew up on the soft side of town and studied in the Ivy League wants to be one of them.
Robert Francis O’Rourke is likely to announce soon that he is joining the 2020 Democratic presidential field.
After leaving Congress and losing a Senate race, O’Rourke hit the open road in search of America. What he found was that Beto really loves Beto. Which makes him the perfect foil for Donald Trump, who really loves Donald Trump.
I don’t feel the love. I think the Texas Democrat is a phony, an opportunist and an underachiever whose thought process is stuck in the shallow end. And what really bothers me is how the media, liberals and the rest of the Beto Bots deify him and demonize critics.
As a Mexican-American who fell in love with the Irish when I went to college and graduate school across the Charles River from Boston, the fact that this Irishman is hellbent on impersonating a Mexican-American – or at least doesn’t mind if you think he’s one – drives me loco.
Here are 10 reasons why “Beto-mania” bugs me.
• It has always bothered me when Hollywood casts non-Latinos as Latinos. In the film “West Side Story,” few of the actors – besides Rita Moreno – were Latino. In a planned remake, producers are making the effort to cast Latinos.
• O’Rourke talks about the importance of taking courageous stances. But, as The Washington Post pointed out recently after interviewing him, he avoids taking firm positions on controversial issues. That’s not courage.
• As a Mexican-American, I’ve learned not to fluster white people who often get squeamish easily because of demographics. But O’Rourke can go all radical and talk about knocking down walls on the U.S.-Mexico border.
• When the Post asked about immigration and what to do about visa overstayers, O’Rourke said: “I don’t know.” He lives in El Paso, not Des Moines. He can’t say: “I don’t know.” An actual Mexican-American would be toast if he said that.
• O’Rourke doesn’t do homework. He is the Democratic Party’s version of Sarah Palin, telegenic and charismatic but afraid to open a book because he thinks it might explode in his face.
• The son of a county commissioner and county judge, the Democrat is now the husband of Amy O’Rourke and the son-in-law of William D. Sanders, a real-estate tycoon who has been called a billionaire but who Forbes insists is worth a measly $500 million. With an estimated net worth of $5 million to $10 million, Beto never learned accountability. Not even after getting arrested in his 20s for drunken driving and breaking into the University of Texas in El Paso.
• O’Rourke’s father, Pat, was the one who gave him the nickname “Beto.” Pat told reporters he thought it would help his son if he entered politics in El Paso. But first, Beto went to Columbia University in New York, where he conveniently reverted to “Robert.”
• Beto may be a serious candidate, but he does not seem to be a serious person. Everything is a show, a joke, a missed test he didn’t study for anyway. What do you expect when you come up short and still fall backward into an interview with Oprah Winfrey?
• O’Rourke may be the only “Latino” in the country who missed out on racism, so he probably lacks empathy for those who endured it.
• Everyone says O’Rourke is vying for the Latino vote against Julian Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development who is running for president. But O’Rourke isn’t Latino. They might as well pit him against Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the female vote. I bet O’Rourke can really rock a pantsuit.
It’s not just me. Every day, I hear from other Latinos who – for their own reasons – are not feeling The Beto.
Just in case you’re interested. Or do we not get a say in who represents us? If that’s true, then, well, good to know.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. “Navarrette Nation” is available through every podcast app. © 2019, The Washington Post Writers Group.