by Daveda Gruber:
If you are going to run for President of the United States, your deepest secrets will be revealed. People will dig up your past and bury you in your own deeds.
On Friday, 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Beto (Robert Francis) O’Rourke was apologizing for his past actions.
He was sorry for a campaign joke that he made about how he and his wife raise their children. Has was also sorry for a short story he wrote about murdering two children by running them over.
Beto was taping “Political Party Live” podcast in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when he apologized for a campaign joke he made on a number of occasions. He had been joking and saying that his wife, Amy, raised their children “sometimes with my help.”
Beto said on the podcast, “Not only will I not say that again, but I’ll be more thoughtful going forward in the way that I talk about our marriage, and also the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.”
Beto commented to CNN and said, “So yes, I think the criticism is right on. My ham-handed attempt to try to highlight the fact that Amy has the lion’s share of the burden in our family — that she actually works but is the primary parent in our family, especially when I served in Congress, especially when I was on the campaign trail — should have also been a moment for me to acknowledge that that is far too often the case, not just in politics, but just in life in general. I hope as I have been in some instances part of the problem, I can also be part of the solution.”
The New York Times reported that Beto’s comments “elicited both laughter and derision” and cited tweets that criticized him for unwittingly exposing the double standard between male and female candidates.
Then there was the murder story that Beto wrote when he was fifteen years old. He acknowledged its surfacing could hurt his campaign.
O’Rourke wrote stories under the name “Psychedelic Warlord.” He wrote in the first person about a murder spree as part of his goal seeking “the termination of everything that was free and loving.” The piece described the first kill as the murder of two children crossing the street.
“Then one day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles. I knew, however, that this happiness and sense of freedom were much too overwhelming for them.”
“This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams. As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two. I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.”
Beto had dismissed the writings before but now says, “It was stuff that I was a part of as a teenager that I’m not proud of today, and I mean that’s the long and short of it. I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words. Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better.”
I agree that he has to take ownership of his deeds. I’ve know writers who write about murder and violence. I’ve edited and published books about murder. I’m not running for president and neither are the authors.
Something about creating a story in one’s mind about the innermost fantasies and motivation to run over children and to deliberately murder them, is difficult to swallow.