Saturday, March 16, 2019

Robert Francis Beto O’Rourke not an ethnic Mexican, yet that is his nombre

Down around Texas last year, one of the key political races involved that of Beto O’Rourke, a member of Congress from El Paso, trying to take down the politically unpopular Ted Cruz.
O'ROURKE: Could we have President Beto?

It didn’t happen. Cruz managed to narrowly win the election, with enough people deciding they’d rather have a Republican – even one as goofy and irrational as Ted.

WHICH MEANS THAT Beto O’Rourke may well have decided if he’s to have a political future, he’s going to have to work his way UP the political ladder – as in his announcement this week that he’s going to be one of the many political hopefuls seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

It also means we’re likely to get the spreading of the ultimate in “phony” issues in coming months.

We’re going to be told that O’Rourke is a fraud, trying to pass himself off as being of Mexican origins even though he isn’t.

His family has its background in Ireland and Wales, and were amongst the many white people to flood their way into Texas in hopes of finding a better life.

AS TO THE nickname of “Beto,” it’s a common one in Spanish. It’s short for Roberto, or Robert in English. Basically, “Beto” could translate into something like “Bobby.”
CRUZ: Could his '18 victory lead to Beto rise?

As for why the O’Rourkes would turn to Spanish when it came to their kid, it was because he was named for his grandfather. And it means they were influenced enough by the heavy-Spanish population of the border region in which they lived – and which O’Rourke grew up.

So is Beto O’Rourke trying to pull off some sort of fraud in trying to pass himself off as a Mexican-American? Not likely. Personally, I don’t think anybody would believe it if he tried – particularly since amongst the other presidential hopefuls in the running is one-time San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro – who also served as Housing and Urban Development secretary during the Barack Obama presidency.
CASTRO: A 'real' Mexican candidate

But I have no doubt we’re going to hear a lot of trash talk trying to take him down.

PERSONALLY, I SUSPECT that what really bothers these people is that someone would think to look to Spanish culture as something positive. Most likely, these people are amongst the outspoken minority of the Age of Trump that really wants him to succeed in erecting that border wall.

As though they want to put up as many barricades as possible to anything existing from Mexican-American culture.

Even though if one is completely honest, the Spanish conquistadores laid claim to parts of what is now United States decades before the English did. I’m actually working my way through a book, El Norte by Carrie Gibson, that attempts to document this very phenomenon.

But such stories and anecdotes just don’t fit into their vision. I’m sure they see someone like Beto O’Rourke as challenging their very definition of what is a “real” American.

I’M SURE THEY’RE more comfortable with the one-time governor of Louisiana, Piyush Jindal, who when his family came to the United States from India tried to take on a “more American” identity and he renamed himself “Bobby.
JINDAL: Ideologues ideal of a proper foreigner pol

Maybe they think Beto O’Rourke should be more like Bobby Jindal – even though one could argue that all O’Rourke is doing is trying to have a political life under the very identity that his parents gave him.

And one in which the voters of El Paso elected him to posts on the City Council AND the 16th Texas congressional district.

Which is my way of saying I think anybody who tries to make an issue of this is really doing nothing more than showing us their own absurd hang-ups, The best thing we could do is disregard it, and judge the potential of a “President Beto” on his own merits.


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