Playing Trump’s Game III: Old, White Men

About the worst epithet among Democrats as of late is “old, white men.” At best, this approach demonstrates a total lack of self-awareness in a party that adores Bernie Sanders. More to the point, it is oblivious engagement in exactly the sort of ageist, racist, and sexist behavior that Democrats claim to hate fervently.

It’s also a lousy way to attract voters. As it turns out, old, white men don’t like being stereotyped negatively any more than, say, young, black men. Needless to say, the right-wing media will be sure to highlight every single incident and even invent a few more. This thoughtless throwaway dig is a cheap and effective way to kiss goodbye to nice slices of the electorate by all but gift wrapping them for the Republicans.

White women, who often patiently work their way up the ladder to find themselves shunted aside once they reach a certain age, may also not appreciate the total celebration of youth over experience. This doesn’t mean ignoring the interests of younger voters on such issues as education affordability. It simply requires not denigrating older voters or experience.

It should be obvious but Democrats should stay out of the business of negatively stereotyping anyone for their identity characteristics. Advocacy on issues of particular interest to specific communities doesn’t require putting other people down based on their age, race, or gender.

In the last gubernatorial election, now-Rep. Anthony Brown hemorrhaged white support. If Maryland Democrats want to win back the Governor’s office, they shouldn’t insult big chunks of the largest group of voters in the state. Gov. Larry Hogan is not making this mistake with nonwhite constituencies.