If it is true, as the Savoyard philosopher Joseph de Maistre said, that a country gets the government it deserves, then I am curious to know why we deserve to be ruled by doddering out-of-touch old men.
Don’t misunderstand me – I have nothing against doddering out-of-touch old men. Our family adores our nutty Uncle Robert when he sits down some evenings to listen to FDR’s firesides chats in our living room….we just don’t let him plan our Thanksgiving dinner.
Yet, populations of voters across this land have no issue electing doddering out-of-touch old men to a variety of positions of power.
Sure, we all giggle to ourselves a little bit, roll our eyes, and think it’s cute when Senator turned presidential candidate Robert Dole, in 1996, referred to the Brooklyn Dodgers instead of the Los Angeles Dodgers or when Senator Harry Reid, just recently, uses the antiquated, and now offensive, term “Negro”.
Sure, we all get a huge laugh when Senator Ted Stevens referred to the Internet as a “series of tubes” or when Senator turned presidential candidate John McCain referred to using “a Google” to do research on his selection for the vice presidency.
Hmmm…all those examples are United States Senators…but I digress.
But is it really dangerous to have doddering out-of-touch old men crafting policy, sending younger men to war, and deciding your fate?
In a word…yes.
Because while the above examples can elicit chuckles, here is an example that gives me chills.
Near where I live in northern Virginia, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio referred to a class of people as “it”. After voting “no” on a proposal to expand the county’s nondiscrimination policy so that sexual orientation could not be used as a reason to not hire an applicant, Delgaudio distributed an electronic newsletter that stated
The board voted six yes, Waters and Delgaudio “no”, with York abstaining, to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the hiring of employees which means if a man dressed as woman wants a job, you have to treat “it” the same as a normal person.
Supervisor Delgaudio is perfectly within his First Amendment rights to hold and express his view that transgendered people are not normal and, based on his use of the word “it”, not even human. However, the chills for me begin when a person who holds that world view can craft policy.
History is littered with the results of what happens when people in power can act on their prejudice that another group of people (usually a group not in power) is not human.
Ah, but there is more. To his prejudices, let’s add a tenuous grasp on logic. In defending his “no” vote, Supervisor Delgaudio wrote to The Loudoun-Times Mirror (January 20, 2010) where he opines:
If we allow Loudoun County to hire men who wear dresses, we may someday require men to wear dresses. The line has to be drawn somewhere.
Biased. Illogical. And the power to do something about it. Yes, it can be dangerous when doddering out-of-touch old men are elected.
Since political acronyms are trendy, I have this bit o’advice. Next time you’re at the polling place and you feel like voting for a Doddering Out-of-touch Old Man, you could be voting for DOOM.