Let me be the first to state my reservations about Jeremiah Liend as a valid political researcher. Hell, he’s not a particularly prolific fine arts researcher, to then give him leverage over politics. However, there are a number of points he brought up regarding the most recent DNC candidate field that forced him into putting together a chart that I am compelled to share as an observational tidbit among a shitstorm of mundane punditry. To begin, and as clarified by the author, this is a tool to examine progress and regress as it relates to three cores of US politics. These cores support the hegemonic destiny that we are forever to be ruled by old, white men.
From the very beginning of this pirate compact we were a nation(army) commanded by the oldest and whitest of men. Men so white they owned slaves by the hundreds, and did not give a shit who knew it. Following their meteoric rise to genocide, these old white men solidified their power in every office, and have not, as of this writing, let go of that power. To surrender this power is to never regain it, as our world continues to diversify and commingle. To be clear, being old, white, and/or male is not a disqualifying factor. Rather, it is a consideration when evaluating the kind of representation you want. Never vote for someone who is unqualified. Or even wildly unqualified. But if all other factors appear to be equal, then consider these three characteristics and why they are important.
First off, the author acknowledges that 50 is not ‘old’ by any specific medical or established rule. Rather this clunky definition is used to define those positioned towards the end of their careers, with the idea being that a person should retire at 65. Certainly there is no age limit, you can vote for any old codger you want to. However, there are a number of reasons to consider age when choosing a candidate. You would want a candidate to survive their whole term, for instance. Maybe you want your candidate able to program their own DVR? Maybe you want a candidate who will still be alive, when all the awful shit we’re doing to the planet kills us horribly? The goal in isolating and labeling a candidate as ‘old’ is not to be ageist, but to offer a comparative factor between those who are at the height of their career, instead of looking towards retirement.
Second, being white(Caucasian) is not a disqualifying factor. But, wouldn’t it be fun if it were? No, let me be clear, some of my best friends are white people. White people have done some very important things, in their place among civilization. They have also done some incredibly awful stuff, often to the minorities of this nation, perhaps most importantly the indigenous inhabitants who suffered genocide and relocation in the process of colonizing. We are colonizing still. We are genociding still. Indigenous blood quantum is a tool of genocide that encourages tribal members to breed within their race. The reservations held by tribes are tiny parcels of undeveloped land, unsupported or sustained by generations of government. Our nation still maintains structures of institutional racism, genocide, and discrimination. So again, if all things are equal, why not choose a candidate who has been exposed to discrimination and who will work against these forces towards sustainable civil rights?
Finally, it’s OK to be male. I myself am a male, and I love it. However, in the long history of humanity, some (if not most) of the most nightmarish and awful things were done by men. Sure, males have done good, too. Certainly I like antibiotics and pizza sandwich. However, women are participating in the process of US government after males shut them out to take a 150 year lead. I don’t know what level of reparations are required, to undo that inequality? At the very least, if all things are equal between two candidates, why not vote for the one who has experienced discrimination because of their sex? Because every woman in the nation who makes $.85 cents for every male dollar experiences daily discrimination that is so institutionalized as to be accepted, denied, and ignored.
These are not disqualifying factors, but they are factors. When voting within or for the party that claims to hold high the banner of progress, consider how much progress is actually taking place. Consider as well what candidates have been forced to overcome and master in their lives and careers to be in a position to run for office. Consider all of these things very carefully and vote accordingly in the primary. Then, please (I beg you) throw everything you have behind whoever gains the endorsement. Because I’m not sure we can survive another 4 years of Trump without more awful, embarrassing, dangerous shenanigans.