With a chance to choose a presidential candidate to oppose Donald Trump this November, Democrats have had the opportunity to pick among a diverse list of 29 candidates. There were six female candidates, including a (cough! cough!) Native American. There were five black candidates, a Taiwanese, a gay and a gaggle of governors, senators, representatives, mayors and former cabinet secretaries. I got eye-glaze looking at the list and very well could have missed a visually impaired transvestite who slipped across the border from Aruba. So what do Democrats do? They have narrowed the field to two old white guys. You just can’t make this stuff up.
The nomination is now between 78-year-old Bernie Sanders and 77-year-old Joe Biden. The winner will square off against a soon-to-be 74-year-old Donald Trump. Don’t you just love it?
In a society that worships loud-talking, self-centered, social media-obsessed, disinclined-to-be patriotic millennials or Gen-Xers or whatever they call themselves, the next president of the U. S. of A will be an old white guy. Read ‘em and weep.
Lest you think we are cut from the same mold, we are not. This old white guy thinks Bernie Sanders is a certifiable nut job and Joe Biden will get foot-in-the-mouth disease as he has done so many times in the past. (Remember the time he asked a good friend of his to stand up so the audience can see him. The guy was a paraplegic.) And Donald Trump needs to thicken his thin skin.
What we do have in common is that we ache in joints we didn’t know we had when we were younger. We tend to tell the same stories over and over. We can’t open child-proof caps and we use the same password for every account on our computer.
The dilemma for Democrats now is how to explain away their sudden preference for Biden and Sanders. If anything, they have eschewed old white guys like they are a walking coronavirus. And how are their sycophants in the national media going to explain the perceived misogyny and racial prejudice in the Democratic primary that they are eager to lay on Republicans?
Molly Jung-Fast, the editor-at-large at the Daily Beast, swears the Democratic Party isn’t run by white men — just men. “After all,” she intones, “the head of the DNC, Tom Perez, is the child of two Dominican immigrants and his deputy was Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to get elected to Congress.” But, she laments, “The Democrats’ seventh debate featured a profound lack of pigment and was pretty testosterone-heavy, though it did include two women. For those who want equal representation, the sea of white maleness really sucked.”
She concludes her screed with this observation, “Diversity begets diversity and old white guys beget more old white guys. Old white guys have run things for the last 6,500 years and, you know, they’ve done a pretty good job, besides the wealth inequality, the health care crisis, the Trump presidency, the coming climate apocalypse and all the wars. OK, they haven’t.” I assume that was a well-intended effort at being sarcastic, but what do I know? I’m just an old white guy.
I think Miss Hissy Fit forgot to mention among other things astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, the Protestant Reformation, the U.S. Constitution, Abraham Lincoln, the telephone, electricity, the Olympics, the Greatest Generation, the creation of a polio vaccine and my personal favorite, the Gaither Vocal Band. (Let’s pause a moment while Daily Beast looks that one up.) White guys haven’t been all bad.
I guess I should be showing a bit more contrition, but being an old white guy is not my fault. I just came on earth this way and I have managed to live a long time. I do worry that Cameron Charles Yarbrough who gives meaning to the term “great” as in great-grandson is going to face the kind of knee-jerk prejudice such as that exhibited by Jung-Fast in the future for no other reason than that he is a white male. I wish I could be around to help him, but I have a feeling he will do just fine. There will always be a place in this world for people of quality. At least, I hope so.
As for me, I can’t wait to see how the battle of the septuagenarians plays out. I assume there will be a presidential debate or two ahead. I just hope the networks schedule them early. This old white guy will be asleep by 8 p.m.
•Dick Yarbrough is a four-time winner of the Best Humor Column by the Georgia Press Association. Reach him at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.