This weekend, the Denver Post ran an outlandish story asserting that Walker Stapleton must answer for the actions and affiliations of his great grandfather – a man he never even met. We don’t need to dive into the resume of Benjamin Stapleton in this forum, it has been reported on extensively already. But what we must do is push back on the unfair and preposterous notion that Stapleton carries one ounce of baggage for the misdeeds of an ancestor he never knew. This is not how things work in America.
The United States was founded on the idea that you blaze your own trail. Unlike most of the world, it does not matter who your dad is, or your great grandfather for that matter. What counts is how someone leverages his intellect, resourcefulness, and determination to create value for others around him and leave his mark on the world. This is something that Stapleton understands and does every day – whether in business, philanthropy, or government – three areas where Stapleton has done far more than just mark time each day.
And if the Denver Post, in its twisted logic, thinks that Stapleton must somehow answer for the actions of his great grandfather, why didn’t Mark Udall need to answer for his own actions – when he was arrested and thrown in jail for drunk driving, and hit with two felony charges of drug possession?
Why stop there? If we want to start linking crimes in the bloodline to political suitability, why didn’t the Denver Post make Mark Udall answer for his son’s drug arrest that included breaking into other people’s cars in Eldorado Springs? If we want to assign some sort of culpability to the elected family member, it would make far more sense for a man running for senate to explain the actions of a man that he raised, than it would for Stapleton to somehow explain the actions of his great grandfather, who he has never met.
As absurd as it would be to hold Udall to account for the actions of his adult son, it is far more outrageous to ask Stapleton to justify the actions of an ancestor that he never met. The Denver Post was flat out wrong in making this assertion. In fact the opposite is true. Benjamin Stapleton’s actions in no way influenced or inspired anything that Walker Stapleton ever did, and if the Post wants to still be taken seriously in this town, should probably to the wise thing and stop doing the bidding of liberals who think this narrative is effective.