There are many factors being attributed to President Obama’s victory Tuesday night — great ground game, Romney’s incessant flip-flopping, the “47 percent” comment, rape-defending Republicans, the Latino vote, the women’s vote, the youth vote, the black vote — but there is only one reason being offered for why Mitt Romney came so close to becoming the next president: white men.
White men, and particularly older white men, were the only major demographic group to support Governor Romney over President Obama in great numbers, with over 60 percent of them voting for the former governor. Without their support, the election would’ve resulted in an Obama landslide.
Since Tuesday, everybody, including Republicans, has been noting the changing composition of the American electorate, and the declining percentage and influence of Caucasian males, a trend that is only going to continue and accelerate. In other words, white males are going to increasingly dwindle in relevance in ensuing elections, even as they desperately try to cling onto power and the “America” that they remember and fear is slipping out of their grasp.
That’s why I propose that we just put them out of their misery right now and declare that from this moment on, White Men Can’t Vote!
Whoah! Let me assert right here that I myself am a white male, and a middle-aged one at that. And even though I throw my lot in with the minority of my ilk — that is, I vote Democratic — I am willing to forgo my ballot and “take one for the team” if we can be removed en masse from the voting rolls.
How can I make such a blatantly outrageous, undemocratic suggestion? Let me put it thusly:
It’s unbecoming. Nobody likes a bitter, sore loser. As we white men try to stave off the inevitable influx of immigrants, minorities and uh, everybody else, we increasingly resemble a grossly over-paid aging athlete who refuses to retire gracefully, even though he’s hurting the team and impeding its future. Far better to step aside and be admired for our selflessness than to fight a losing battle till the bitter, bitter end.
It would dramatically alter the political debate. Instead of endlessly revisiting the same fights over capital gains, estate taxes, and a host of other issues pertinent mostly to white men, denying us the vote would enable the country to liberate itself from these old, hoary debates and turn its attention to the issues specifically challenging those who will have an increasingly large stake in the nation’s well-being.
We had a good run. For much of the country’s history, white men were the only group that could vote. Karma has caught up with us. It’s time to turn over the keys to the country to the next wave. As mentioned, most Republicans acknowledge that demographically speaking, time is not on their side, and for their party to survive it needs to attract women, youth, and minorities. But what’s the biggest impediment to doing this? White men! As long as this long-in-the-tooth group hangs around trying to “decide” how to appeal to others, it doesn’t stand a chance. The party needs to decisively clear out its “dead wood” and let whatever next-generation of pro-business / fewer regulations sympathizers fill its vacuum, infusing it with a new wave of energy, enthusiasm and direction.
And white men who still bristle at this idea: face it, we’re on the losing side of history. But, this being a democracy, we can’t just disenfranchise white men by fiat. It’s only fitting that we get to vote on it. So how about it, men? Let’s go out with a bang, a big hurrah, and vote ourselves out of voting. Either way, it’s the last time our vote will really matter.
- Romney relies on shrinking pool of white male votes (reuters.com)