Occasional Appeal columnist Susan Stornetta late last month advised us to be “true patriots” by voting for “thinking, balanced people” who believe in “democracy and fair play.” That’s exactly what I did last week, and I urge you to do the same at the polls on Tuesday.
Stornetta wrote that older white males are “out-of-touch, vengeful, angry, greedy and rapacious.” On the other hand, women and minorities are “civil, honest, diverse, intelligent and fair-minded.” Who knew? Because I think what she wrote is nasty and unfair, I’ve decided to pursue the matter with the appropriate authorities, whoever they are.
I feel I’ve been discriminated against because of my age and my skin color, so I want to file a complaint with the Equal Rights Commission. Where do I file? Don’t get in my way because I’m a man on a mission.
As an elderly white male, I feel the need to fight back against ageism, sexism and racism. All other groups struggle against these kinds of discrimination, so why should white males be an exception? Are we supposed to sit quietly and take it while people insult us because of our age or skin color? After all, as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached many years ago, people should be judged on the content of their character and not on the color of their skin, or other extraneous factors.
Semi-seriously, however, I’m fighting back against identity politics which divides us up into small special interest groups and pits us against one other. Both major political parties are guilty of that during midterm election campaigning, and they should be ashamed of themselves. They’re not, however, because negative campaigning works.
During midterm campaigning here in Nevada we’ve heard that Sen. Dean Heller wants to take away our Medicare and Social Security — maybe even push Grandma off the cliff — and that Democrats are going to bankrupt the state with their lavish spending proposals. We’re about to discover the truth about all of the outlandish, unsubstantiated charges that were launched during the campaign in multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns directed from outside our state. Some folks make a lot of money by smearing candidates for public office, so why would anyone want to run for office?
In her angry and offensive column, Stornetta urged everyone to be a “patriot” by voting “wisely.” Perhaps she can tell us on Wednesday whether we voted wisely. For my part, however, I’d caution that there are many possible definitions of the words “patriot” and “wise” in a political context.
For example, conservatives might consider President Trump to be a patriot because of his “America First” policies while liberals might think Sen. Bernie Sanders is a patriot because he advocates for “free” health care and college educations for everyone. Stornetta tipped her hand about her definitions of these words when she wrote that 2016 political caucuses were “heavily weighed in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Facing a corporate, well-connected Democratic woman, angry men elected one of their own.” But wait a minute, weren’t suburban women a major factor in Trump’s surprising victory?
Stornetta’s election analysis isn’t about facts; it’s about feelings. Since she must find someone to blame for Trump’s victory, she chooses “angry white men” even though the 2016 election results were much more complicated than that. For the record, I didn’t vote for the president. Instead, I proudly voted for “None of the above candidates.” Does that make me angry?
Stornetta might disagree with how I define her words, but both of us have a First Amendment right to express our conflicting opinions. Long live fair play and the First Amendment.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.