In Defense of Old White Men

I’m concerned about the post-election celebration regarding shifting demographics. We’re all cheering because a presidential contest was finally decided almost completely without Old White Men.

I think it’s pretty clear that virtue does not adhere to any group based on gender, age or pantone shade. If you have doubts about that, just check with anyone in Zimbabwe.

Yet we have talked about the rise of women and minorities in deciding this election as if these groups have some inherent incorruptible-ness Old White Men do not. We seem to be saying, “If only women and minorities were in power, why then everything would finally be all right.”

Power is good. Because once you have power, (to turn a Bill O’Reilly phrase) if you want stuff, you can get stuff. What stuff might you want? To keep said power.

Of course it is wonderful to see that our elected officials will finally (in outward appearances at least) reflect the electorate. For about the last fifteen years, Congress looked uncomfortably anachronistic. As if you’re watching someone wear a 1970s pantsuit and wide tie who is not doing it to be ironic, but just because he doesn’t know better.

Still, I think it would be better to stop bashing Old White Men, especially in those terms. I hope if we’re rejecting their leadership, it wasn’t because they were old, or white or male, but because their policies were out of step with our values— that’s all.

And finally, as our cultural underdogs become, well, the Main Dogs, let’s all be realistic about what to expect of our flawed fellow creatures.

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One thought on “In Defense of Old White Men

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