November 26, 2012
The Politics of Pallor
One of the more irritating bits of Conventional Wisdom to emerge from the 2012 election is the notion that the Republicans have become the party of "old white guys." I'm not talking about the demographic aspect of it; the statistics do indeed show that a huge base of support for Mitt Romney came from white males, whom he won handily over Barack Obama. No, what chaps my hide is the derisive way in which liberals and the mainstream media -- and who are we kidding here, they're one and the same -- deploy the term "old white guys," like it's a gypsy curse that requires spitting afterward.
Now I will grant you that there are things that old white guys don't do very well. For the most part, their dancing moves involve way too much overbite and getting stuck behind one in the grocery checkout line can be a less than pleasant experience. Their skills with a comb tend to be dubious at best, and that whole black-socks-with-sandals thing utterly confuses me (I think it's an AARP requirement). However, this whole business with casting old white guys -- and, by extension, middle-aged white guys like yours truly -- as the villains in modern politics is not only ugly and divisive, it's also old hat. Progressives have been using some variation of this silly theme for over a hundred years.
Part of it is the arrogance of the new: "We're the future and you're the past, so just shut up and get out of the way." In 2012, though, the Democrats are also using it to project an image of themselves as America's destiny -- one in which, apparently, older white guys don't matter. If true, that's a sad indication of where America is headed. Why? Because, quite frankly, just as the country has benefited from the increasing influence of women and minorities, it has been tremendously blessed by the contribution of -- drum roll, please -- older white guys!
To wit, the very concept of democracy and self-rule was the creation of old white guys (European white guys, no less). America's Founding Fathers, who secured for us the blessings of liberty through limited government, were old white guys. Thomas Edison, who seems to have invented half the stuff we take for granted today, was an old white guy. Henry Ford, who revolutionized manufacturing, was an old white guy (in addition to being a rather nasty character, but that's another story). Soldiers from the Greatest Generation who defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? The surviving ones are mostly old white guys. The first man to break the sound barrier and the men who went to the moon are now old white guys. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.
I know, I know -- some lefties out there are probably saying, "Well if America hadn't been such a bigoted nation all those years, the first man on the moon might have been a woman!" And while that's a plausible argument, it's thoroughly beside the point. The scope of human potential is unlimited. It's not as if diminishing old white guys is going to elevate the prospects of other groups. Not only that, but the very concept itself is immoral. You can only build someone up by tearing someone else down? Count me out of that world view.
This nation faces some serious challenges, folks, and we need all the talent we can muster to overcome them. That includes, among everyone else, old white guys. Whadya say instead of bashing them, we listen to what they have to say? We might actually learn something.
Hatched by Korso on this day, November 26, 2012, at the time of 12:47 PM
The following hissed in response by: Richard L
There is a practical reason why it was never in the cards that the first man on the moon would be a woman. Plumbing! The zero gee toilet is a phenomenally tough engineering problem, and they still haven't really solved it. Valentina Tereshkova, the Soviet cosmonaut who has the strongest claim to first woman in space went to orbit in diapers. Even the most radical feminist can be convinced that two weeks in a space capsule the size of a coat closet that smells like a diaper pail is cruel and unusual.
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