Oftentimes, sinking politicians will go to great lengths to regain viability in a race. Last weekend, former U.S. Representative Robert Francis O’Rourke, better known as Beto, did just that. In a Medium post, the failing Democratic presidential candidate announced that both his family and his wife Amy’s family owned slaves.
In the piece, O’Rourke maintained that Andrew Cowan Jasper, the former Representative’s paternal great-great-great grandfather, owned two slaves, whose names were Eliza and Rose, in the 1850s. O’Rourke also contended that one of his maternal great-great-great grandfathers was probably a slave owner in the 1860s. The fledgling presidential candidate reportedly learned about his family’s troubling past when he procured documents containing details of his ancestors’ property. Interestingly, documents also revealed that one of Amy’s ancestors served in the Civil War for the Confederate Army. Another of her family members was a slave owner.
So, what was O’Rourke’s reason for telling the world that he and his wife are the descendants of slave owners? The former Representative proclaimed that he divulged his family’s tainted past to illustrate his “personal connection” to slavery. He allegedly felt his revelation was needed to foster productive communication about racial inequality in the country.
“I benefit from a system that my ancestors built to favor themselves at the expense of others. That only increases the urgency I feel to help change this country so that it works for those who have been locked-out of — or locked-up in — this system,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke isn’t the only politician who is currently addressing slavery and how people in the United States should make up for its dark past today. According to TheBlaze, “Most Democrats, including those running for president, advocate reparations, while many Republicans disagree with such an approach, arguing that Americans today did not contribute to slavery, which was technically made unconstitutional — with one exception — with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865.” Besides reparations, the conservative media outlet reported that O’Rourke “would support economic, educational, health care, and criminal justice reform to reverse the damage of racial injustice.”
When O’Rourke joined the insanely huge crowd of Democratic presidential contenders earlier this year, he was the toast of the Democratic Party. He even raised an impressive $6.1 million in the first day of his campaign. Amazingly, despite jumping on countertops and livestreaming his haircut, O’Rourke hasn’t gained traction in the crowded Democratic field. If anything, he appears to be dropping like a stone in the polls.
Taking a swipe at O’Rourke for his Medium post in an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner, Becket Adams stated, “Things have gotten so bad for his fledgling 2020 campaign that he released opposition research on himself this weekend, revealing that he and his wife are descendants of slave-owners.”
“For context, note that NBC’s hit piece about two of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s great-great-grandfathers owning slaves was published just in time for his Democratic opponent’s campaign announcement. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that normally, this sort of story is dug up by your political opponents and handed to the media,” Adams added. “What I’m trying to say here is that things are so bad for Beto that he is trying to draw attention to himself by releasing what we’d all think of as opposition research on his own campaign. He also questioned why the former Representative would drag his spouse into the mud.”
Adams is right — Beto’s support is dropping fast. Astoundingly, the former Representative even trailed fellow 2020 presidential candidate and self-help guru Marianne Williamson in the poll.
It remains to be seen whether O’Rourke’s bizarre revelation about his family’s history will help him in the polls. If it doesn’t, the next livestream he might post is him dropping out of the presidential contest.