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The Unbearable Male Privilege of Beto O'Rourke

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Women often jokingly exhort one another to have the confidence of a mediocre white man. The joke is as much about the society that enables and supports unearned hubris as it is about the men it references.

Is Beto O’Rourke mediocre? Maybe not. He’s charismatic and had the guts to run for a statewide elected position in Texas as a real Democrat—something even Wendy Davis, who famously and literally stood up for reproductive rights, didn’t do when she took the “blue dog” approach of positioning herself as a pro-gun Democrat. But his three terms as a member of the House of Representatives were unremarkable, and his policy positions are so vague that one is hard-pressed to outline a single one.

Humility is not a quality found in politics, generally, but there’s something particularly stunning about a man who spent the aftermath of his failed Senate bid doing a sort of “On The Road” soul-search tease of his presidential bid with a Vanity Fair profile in which he declared he is “born for this” and followed it up with a stunningly dull video formally announcing that bid—a video in which he talked straight to the camera for more than three minutes while his wife sat eerily silent beside........

© The Daily Beast