Point Park Globe

Past decisions should affect some, but not all of life

Texas Democrat attacked for comments made when he was 19 years old

Written By John Karavis, Staff Writer

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I had somewhat of a big mouth in my teenage years.

It wasn’t a matter of anger or any genuine harmful intent. I just occasionally let my testosterone-laden and still-developing ego outwit my better judgment.

Even now, only a few years removed, I still would be at a loss for words if confronted with some of the stupid things I said while coming of age.

Having regrets about youthful transgressions is universal, and just about everyone can point to a few instances from their teen experiences where they said something they now wish they hadn’t.

This is why I find the recent controversy surrounding Texas senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke concerning.

O’Rourke, a United States congressman since 2012, has faced scrutiny for a remark he made reviewing a play for the Columbia University student newspaper as a 19-year-old student
in 1991.

In the review, O’Rourke suggested actresses only received their roles in the show due to “their phenomenally large breasts and tight buttocks.”

Now 46, O’Rourke had to take time from his regular campaign proceedings to address the issue
last week.

While the comment may have been slightly off-color, I find it ridiculous in today’s political climate that anyone, especially a progressive Democrat who has fought for several forward-thinking social causes, must be reduced to groveling for forgiveness over such a minuscule occurrence.

In his public apology, O’Rourke said he was “ashamed” of his actions and called his opinion of the show “demeaning” to women everywhere.

Could he have phrased his displeasure differently? I suppose.

But the fact that our social structure has become so sterile and politically correct that he had to issue a stale apology for a slur-less criticism of a play – in which he did not call out any actress by name – is utterly and frustratingly absurd.

If anything, O’Rourke’s gripe has more to do with the play’s casting director for hiring subpar actresses based off appearance than with the women
themselves. 

There are real issues to be dealt with and forcing public figures into acknowledging a minor offense like this does a massive disservice to those who have been affected by legitimate racist, sexist or bigoted
proclamations.

Many Trump voters flocked to his over-the-top showmanship and defiance of traditional politics because they were tired of quick, witless reactions to controversy and the teleprompter apologies that
follow.

O’Rourke’s comment sparking so much half-hearted backlash only adds fuel to the argument of the socially ignorant.

To me, the most aggravating aspect of this is the lack of impact this saga will have on the election.

Who benefited from this apology?

Did the actresses really care about one negative review from a performance given 27 years ago?

Did this one revelation cause supporters to abandon O’Rourke’s campaign and begin to internalize Republican ideals?

Does his opponent, Ted Cruz, a severely unlikeable official who has hidden behind religion and a misguided, outdated reliance on family values for years when discussing his reluctance to adopt modern viewpoints on social movements, have added ammunition to throw at his adversary?

The likelihood of any of these scenarios is laughably and inarguably slim.

The only thing this public contention accomplished was distracting voters from the important challenges awaiting the victor of the election.

There are many officials, including the president, who have yet to be held accountable for their actions.

Attempting to tear apart a respectable and qualified candidate over such a trivial indiscretion is irresponsible and unnecessary.

Teenagers say dumb things. It’s part of growing up.

Rehashing a benign matter like this undercuts the concept of moving forward, the most important aspect of progressive
thinking.

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