Debates Offer Peek at Old White Men
by Manic Lawyer, Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 03:55:01 PM EDT
"Paul G. Kirk, Jr. (69 year-old white man) and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. (a 68 year-old white man), both co-chairmen of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), have announced the moderators for the 2008 general election presidential debates:
In announcing the moderators, they might well have said, "we thought it was important that each of the moderators be a retirement age white man."
How did they decide that all of the moderators of presidential debates should be white men beyond retirement age? Were they trying to make John McCain feel more comfortable about being older than 88% of America's population? The Commission on Presidential Debates really cannot be said to be "non-partisan" since it clearly represents the O.W.M.P (Old White Men's Party).
We should call these the "Founding Father Debates" since all of the moderators are old enough, white enough and male enough to have been present at the first Constitutional Conventions!
There's nothing wrong with being an old white man, but is it really fair that, at all three successive debates, Barack Obama will be faced by John McCain and a moderator who looks just like John McCain in every demographic respect?
Is this not a subtle way of erroneously telling America that only old white men are responsible and wise enough to hold positions of responsibility? That certainly would be a crazy and counter-productive message for Democrats to send right before a presidential election in which their nominee is a Black man. So, this is yet another example of old white men valuing exclusionary politics over broader Party self-interest.
We all love and respect Brokaw, Lehrer and Schieffer. Each of them is like our best image of a grandfather or great-grandfather? But we also have great respect for (that old white lady who fucked the Black senator from Massachusetts), as well as (the old Black man who was an anchor at CNN) and (the Black guy who was on television as an anchor).
Is there any good reason why ALL minorities and women had to be excluded from the group of presidential debate moderators to make room for these three old white men? It's the same question that we can ask of the Democratic National Convention State Blogger Corps: Is there any good reason why it had to be 97% white at a Convention where 20% of the delegates are Black? Jim Crow tradition, perhaps?
So, let's call these "The Model T Debates" (each of these men is old enough to have had one as his first car), or the "Remember Kruschev Debates" (because each of these men is old enough to have reported on Kruschev's presidency of the Soviet Union).
I have figured out why the co-chairmen of the Debate Commission decided that all three moderators should be retirement-age white men: they wanted elite moderators, and to be old, white, male is "elite" by definition, since less than five percent of the population of the United States shares this demographic profile.
If they hold each of the debates in an all white male retirement village, then they will have achieved whatever their goal was in assuring that mostly ancient white men would be in evidence at the Presidential Debates.
But, look at the bright side: The debate questions will reveal what's important to old white men, just like decisions of the US Supreme Court do, but more so still.