Chris Matthews of MSNBC, Thomas Friedman and Paul Krugman of the New York Times, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ("angry old white men") are among the many on the left who have used this epithet.
Last week, on her nightly MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow showed a picture of an ad for Washington, D.C. talk radio station WRC that featured the station's talk show hosts. You will notice, she said, that they are all "old white Republican males." It was brought to my attention because I am one of those talk show hosts (and, it should be noted, nearly all of my colleagues and I are younger than her colleague, Chris Matthews, an old white Democratic male.)
What is going on here?
The answer is: quite a bit. The left's dismissal of old people is much more than another left-wing ad hominem attack. Therefore, to understand it is to understand much of what animates leftism.
As a rule, the left rejects the old.
The left's attack on teaching the works of "Dead White European Males" was one such example. It infuriated the left that Shakespeare was studied so much more than, let us say, living Guatemalan playwrights. As a result, one can now obtain a college degree in English -- let alone every other liberal arts department -- without having taken a course in Shakespeare.
So, too, in art and music, the new is almost always favored over the old. New composers and artists -- no matter how untalented -- are studied as much as or more than the great masters of old. And the old standards of excellence are neglected in favor of the latest avant-garde experimentation.
Rejection of the old is a reason the left has contempt for the Bible. To progressives, the idea of having 2,000 and 3,000-year-old texts guide a person's behavior today is ludicrous.
Low regard for the old is also a major factor in the left's dismissal of the Founders and of the original intent of the Constitution. Talk about "old white males," the Founders are white males who are now over 200-years-old. What could they possibly have known or understood that a progressive living today does not know more about or understand better?
What, then, is at the core of the left's contempt for the old, and its celebration of the new and of change?
There are two primary answers.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”