Last Sunday, in the hallowed pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the paper’s chief editorial writer Kevin Horrigan penned a piece entitled “Cheney or McCain?” along with the subtitle “Torture: The Incredible Burden of Being an Old White Guy.” The OP-ED could have been a lighthearted piece about growing older in a changing nation, or it might have been a more serious consideration of the thorny problem of America, her enemies, and the line between tough interrogation and torture, either of which would have been welcome under varying circumstances. Unfortunately, Mr. Horrigan used the recent torture revelations as a teaser to write a column bashing “Old White Men”, and blaming them for all of the current national problems. Despite the title, the work is only tangentially about torture, and its purpose, such as there is one, is simply to heap scorn and ridicule upon the Left’s favorite targets, namely White Men.
According to Horrigan white males are angry, they cannot think for themselves, they have had it too good for too long, they have propped themselves up by suppressing women and minorities. Furthermore, white men are the primary beneficiaries of the bloated welfare state, even if they refuse to admit this unpleasant fact. He also implies that most white men, who strike a pose in favor of a strong national defense, and are reluctant to lambast the CIA on the torture issue, are actually chicken hawks who avoided military service. Horrigan essentially states that white men need to get over whatever is bothering them, pipe down, and take the medicine that they have had coming for a long time.
Horrigan begins the column in a somewhat benign fashion. He states, “Things get harder and harder for Old White Guys.” He laments the undeniable truth that the vitality of youth fades, and is replaced by the physical aches and pains of middle age. Horrigan is also on solid ground when he argues that white men are no longer the targeted advertising demographic group, they can no longer smoke cigars in public, and, worst of all, pretty girls no longer notice them! Most pale men, of a certain age, could not argue with this summation.
When he shifts gears to the meat of the column, Horrigan falls off of the beam. As he puts it, “Worst of all, Old White Guys carry a huge political burden.” What might that burden be? White men are the backbone of the Republican Party, and we all know how difficult that must be! Horrigan than argues that the average white male cannot think for himself and must rely on Fox News, the National Rifle Association, “…knuckleheads on talk radio”, and assorted fringe groups to think for him. As Horrigan puts it, “We tune in to Fox News to get our marching orders from other Old White Guys or blonde women in short skirts…” No mention here of mind numbed liberals who take Rachel Maddow’s word for it, or confuse satirical comedy with thoughtful political analysis. This is actually more of a way to insult the Republican Party than it is to bash a certain electoral segment. Certainly, if one of the two major parties survives by whipping its Know-Nothing base into a frenzy it can have nothing of substance to contribute to the national debate.
Horrigan then gives a quick rundown of recent history and shows that the Old White Men have been wrong every time, and thus, the liberals have always been right. He mentions the tragic events of two years ago at Newtown, Connecticut and accuses the NRA of using the Old White Men as their strike force against sensible and necessary gun control laws. Horrigan conveniently ignores the fact that Connecticut, a very deep blue state, has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. He mocks the idea that guns, as inanimate object do not kill, but that bad people use guns wrongly. The unfortunate citizens of Sydney, Australia might quibble with him on this point.
His next point is the supposed fact that all Old White Men are opposed to Obamacare. Horrigan implies that this opposition is based on ignorance of the facts of the ACA, and the idea that there is nothing in this for the Old White Men. He states the liberal talking points that the details prove Obamacare is wonderful, and that it was a plot hatched by conservatives at the Heritage Foundation, and pseudo-Republicans in Massachusetts. Horrigan makes no mention of the fact that many people, of all ages and genders dislike Obamacare because they were sold a pack of lies. Johnathan Gruber has told us so, and contrary to Horrigan’s inference that Mitt Romney was the father of this monstrosity, Gruber claimed that he was the architect of the plan, and that the administration sold it to the public through lies, and appealing to the stupidity of the American voters. Certain people who initially approved of the legislation changed their minds when they found out that they could not really keep their doctors, or their insurance plans. The Post-Dispatch has triumphantly noted the millions who have enrolled in Obamacare since last year, without noting the three million who were cancelled from their private plans, nor the intentional inflation of the numbers through creative accounting. Finally, Horrigan might want to consider the untruth of the claim that Obamacare would lead to an average savings of $ 2,500 per customer, now that sticker shock is setting in. No it is far better to taunt and mock the Old White Men, saying that they oppose Obamacare because there is something good going on and they can’t get some of the gravy for themselves.
Mr. Horrigan then segues into the gay marriage debate. As he phrases it, “Old White Guys really hate gay marriage.” He notes that federal judges have been overturning state laws, and constitutional provisions, and are making gay marriage “legal” in many jurisdictions. Horrigan chooses not to discuss the reason that many, although an admittedly shrinking number of people, are opposed to the gay marriage imperative. Some oppose the cavalier practice of federal judges striking down state constitutional provisions that they personally dislike. Others believe that traditional marriage is a better arrangement for the raising of children than the alternative. Still others contend that traditional marriage is a pillar of society, and that we trifle with such things at our own risk. There is much more to this than the simple obscurantism of Old White Guys at work, but such an admission would torpedo the liberal premise, so Mr. Horrigan chooses to ignore this, and prefers to jeer at the other side.
Finally, Kevin Horrigan moves to Ferguson, in a manner of speaking. He naturally accuses the Old White Men of racism, and claims that white men want to keep guns in their homes because they are racists who hate and fear black people. Mr. Horrigan does not acknowledge that firearm ownership is much more common in rural areas, where the racial angle does not figure into the equation. He repeats the discredited story of Michael Brown being shot while attempting to surrender, and states that Old White Men accept the official police account uncritically because they secretly support a white policeman, and irrationally hate an unarmed black teenager.
Horrigan then moves on to discuss the fact that white men have had it too good for too long. He brings up the old mantra of “White Privilege”, and throws a couple of new sociological terms, namely “Male Privilege”, and “Old Privilege” into his noxious stew. He argues that white men who think they have earned whatever they have in the world are sadly mistaken, because they got good jobs, good wages, and good benefits largely because they were white. He further out, “…throw in the notion of male privilege, and then point out that old folks get a disproportionate share of federal benefits and you’ve pretty much singled out the Old White Guys as triple privileged.” Mr. Horrigan here gives a fairly trenchant criticism of the errors of the welfare state, yet he doesn’t advocate overhauling, or dismantling this mistake. It is more fun to throw cream pies at those who, he contends, benefit from it without giving it credit. (Regular readers of this column might remember that Mr. Horrigan proposed a national holiday in 2013 celebrating the centenary of the graduated income tax!)
Finally, our fearless editorialist discusses torture. He claims that most Old White Guys implicitly endorse “enhanced interrogation”. He claims that Old White Guys, by which he means, of course, “conservatives” think it was a mistake to broadcast this information, and that anything goes when it is done “… in the name of protecting the good old U.S. of A. “ I suppose that everyone knew that a liberal would get around to mocking patriotism sooner or later. Horrigan finishes his column by claiming that most of his straw men, labeled Old White Guys, are actually chicken hawks who avoided military service like Dick Cheney, rather than the G.I. Joes who walked the walk, like John McCain. He says that when the Old White Guys have to choose between the draft dodger and the knight-errant, they will line up with the slacker every time.
Now Mr. Horrigan is certainly entitled to his opinion, and the PD is his home, so they will publish his essay. This piece, however, is important because it shows the liberal mind at work. Would the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have dared to publish an Op-Ed in which their top editorial writer mocked, ridiculed, and insulted all young black men? Would they have allowed Horrigan a platform to do the same to middle aged white women? Would they have consented to a piece that castigated any black, Hispanic, or Asian women? What about unemployed, gay pro football defensive ends? Of course not, and it goes without saying that this would never be permitted! White men, however, are not on the Left’s protected species list, and can be slandered, insulted, and defamed to an editorial writer’s hearts content.
Now, let us see whether Mr. Horrigan possesses the courage of his convictions. After all, he is an Old White Guy. He has had it too good for too long. He has had a comfortable sinecure at a major metropolitan daily newspaper for lo, these many years. Will he realize that he’s had it too good, and set the world an example by graciously stepping aside, so that a deserving woman or a certified minority can take his job? The answer is almost certainly a resounding “no”. Old White Men may carp and moan about their lot in life, and chafe at the implication that they are the nation’s biggest problem. We need other Old White Men, at the Post-Dispatch, to keep smugly telling the m the “truth”.
Merry Christmas, again, to all Townhall readers!