It’s hard to know what Beto O’Rourke thinks about important issues, as he seems content to skirt controversial matters in the hopes of pleasing whoever happens to be listening to him at the moment.
However, it can be said for certain that Mr. O’Rourke, who formerly opposed the idea of giving reparations to the descendants of American slaves, is now in favor of the idea. Not surprisingly, his change of heart seems to have come about after being confronted on the issues while on the campaign trail, and being directly asked about it by professional race baiter Al Sharpton.
Beto O’Rourke is not the first Democratic presidential candidate to endorse this idea. While Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, denounced the idea as wholly impractical while in office, many of his would-be successors are embracing the plan in the hopes of winning the African-American vote in the primary and general election.
Julian Castro has wholly embraced the idea, calling for a presidential commission to be set up to determine how to pay the reparations. Other candidates who are in favor of the idea of passing legislation to study reparations include Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Given the fact that so many presidential candidates have already expressed support for reparations, it is not hard to see why an African-American man challenged Beto O’Rourke on the spot. Naturally, more party leaders are following suit. House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi has reportedly a plan by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to pass a resolution in favor of creating a reparations study commission.
While Democrats pander to their progressive base with proposals like this, American voters in general are still diametrically opposed to the idea. A 2018 survey found that only a quarter of Americans think reparations are necessary. A 2016 survey found that while nearly 60% of African-American voters are in favor of reparations, fewer than 20% of white voters agree with the idea.
Forget about the idea that not a single slave or slave owner exists in Americans today. A reparations program would be nearly impossible to implement.
First of all, estimates show that offering reparations could cost the government up to $14 trillion dollars. This is money the federal government simply does not have, especially when one considers the fact that the U.S. government’s net worth is currently -$75 trillion. Furthermore, it would be extremely difficult to determine just who qualifies for reparations, as not all African-Americans in the United States today are descendants of former slaves. Far less white Americans are decedents of slave owners. Some came to the U.S. after slavery was outlawed; others, such as Sen. Kamala Harris, are actually descendants of rich black slave-owners.
It is painfully obvious that Beto O’Rourke’s recent change of heart on reparations has more to do with political ambitions than a desire to lift African-Americans out of poverty. However, even if his new stance does happen to somehow help him win the nomination, it is almost certain to work against him in a general election.
Most Americans are tired of identity politics and want to see those in power use their authority to create a stable economy, safe communities and provide affordable healthcare. The idea that reparations could propel someone to the White House is laughable given the widespread animosity to the idea. Even so, it is now being used as the litmus test for progressive candidates who want to attract voters in Democrat primary elections.