Wednesday, November 07, 2012
O'Reilly and me and the white Christian males
Bill O'Reilly isn't wrong. As he said notably last night on Fox News, this isn't "traditional America anymore." Traditional isn't even a code word for "white"; a couple years ago already, in an interview with Sen. John McCain, O'Reilly rather famously made the same claim with deliberate use of race and faith and gender, when he said that the New York Times wanted to break down the "white, Christian, male power structure" (note the quotes--I'm not making this up).
Look, last night Barack Obama got all the African-American votes except that of Florida's Rep. Alan West, who, remarkably, lost his seat and megaphone. What's more, Obama got most of the Latino vote--surprise, surprise. He also came away with a decided edge in the women's vote. What I'm saying is that O'Reilly's right on the money: Obama won with a coalition that included very few members of the "white, Christian male power structure." Obama's black, or at least half African-American, folks: you're right--he's different, even if his life story is far more traditionally rags-to-riches than is Mitt's.
Last week I went hunting with a great group of guys, and I loved it. I quit early because I had to, but the company was just wonderful. We had a great time, raised oodles of money for Christian schools, and got along famously. What tree-huggers don't understand about hunters is that few Americans love the outdoors as passionately as they do. The weather was fine, the birds were plentiful, and a great time was had by all--me too.
The gathering was white and it was Christian and it was male, totally--as am I. It's gloriously comfortable to hang out with guys, talk like guys, act like guys, be like guys--you know. But very much alive in that lodge was the unwarranted expectation that every last one of us shared a bloody hatred for Barack Obama. It was simply assumed. After all, hey, we get it, right? I didn't say a thing because I was their guest, I didn't want to rain on their parade, and besides, I'm not into martyrdom.
What I'm saying is, it's pure joy to sit around in the fort and shoot the bull with the boys. It's great to share values, even to be part of the "white, Christian, male power structure." I know because I am.
But in life outside the fort, out there in the public square at least, the days of power are numbered; and I, for one, think it's a good thing.
It's useful to remember that the Latinos who've reshaped the aisles of our grocery stores, even in Sioux County, Iowa, are here because the "white Christian, male power structure" hired them. Alan West is history, Michele Bachmann barely escaped, but Steve King, who considers himself a four-star general in the white Christian, male army, will live to spout his Custer-like silliness again, even though there's not a soul in white, Christian Sioux County who doesn't know that if King would line up a gadzillion buses and send all the Latino help back south, our economy, run by white Christian men, would take a gut shot that would leave it staggering.
We don't live in the world of Mad Men or Ozzie and Harriet or John Wayne Westerns; it's not, as O'Reilly says, "traditional America" anymore. Life is good in the hunting lodge, but the public square isn't the hunting lodge.
We're going to have to live together, and white Christian males are going to have to try to figure out how they're going to do that because otherwise they're going to lose, again and again, just as they did last night, in an understandable, tragic sense, victims of their own hiring.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 6:47 AM