Forgive yet another political rant—we’ve got a lifetime supply from every side of the biosphere—but I try to keep them infrequent. I stay pretty aware of all that’s going on, have my opinions, and vote, but I see little point in saying what’s already been said, and I’d rather spend my hours in harmless tasks like writing novels and petting the cats.
But we all have our itchy spots. I’ve now heard the pejorative “old white men” quite a number of times. As an Old White Man, let me say first that I’m not running for President—I’d be a well-meaning disaster. And not wanting to sound curmudgeonly, but—
To me, that phrase is unique in its triple bigotry. I quite agree that there’s nothing intrinsically noble in being white, though nothing inherently virtuous in being black or female—cf. Clarence Thomas & Betsy DeVos. Granted, it’s
functional symbolism to break the ceilings and the chains, but in my view that’s flowed from radical societal changes—spearheaded by individuals but not caused by them. Arguably, Barack Obama (whom I admire) did less to promote civil rights than that old white asshole Lyndon Johnson, and certainly more than hot young Kennedy. And World War II made it possible—ditto with women’s rights.
As for age: the best argument against older guys as President is that two terms might be too much for a geezer, and we want a two-termer. But would you really argue that Ruth Ginsburg is a less qualified justice than Brett Kavanaugh because she’s too old? “New ideas” don’t necessarily equate with youth or inexperience. New ideas (a) aren’t the exclusive province of the young, and (b) aren’t necessarily doable.
So I’m only suggesting that we listen to the “old white men” meme as acutely as we’d listen to “women are weak” or “no blacks allowed” or “he’s just a kid.” It’s understandable revenge, but IMHO it’s unworthy.