Thursday, March 12, 2020

the strange triumph of the pale stale males

The race for the Democratic nomination in the US has become a two-horse race. A race between two pale stale males. Which has amazed the dissident right. For several years they’ve been predicting that no white man could win the Democratic nomination ever again. They’ve been predicting that only DOCs (Democrats of Colour) or women or homosexuals could ever win the nomination because the party is now dominated by the Coalition of the Fringes.

What’s really extraordinary about the current contest is not just that it has ended in a triumph of the pale stale males but that the DOCs and the women did so incredibly badly. In fact they did so badly that none of them seems especially likely to win the nomination in 2024 either. It seems quite possible that the pale stale males will remain in control for quite some time.

This has come as a shock to dissident rightists. It’s also come as a shock to Elizabeth Warren, who genuinely seems to believe that her presidential run was derailed by sexism.  If sexism really had been the decisive factor then that would suggest that the Democratic Party is a seething hotbed of sexism. Which must be alarming to feminists who were under the impression that it was the Republican Party that was the seething hotbed of sexism. Whatever the reason there’s no question that the speed with which the wheels fell off Warren’s campaign was startling. She was looking good until the serious campaigning started. Once that serious campaigning got under way she crashed and burned almost immediately.

One possible explanation is that political campaigning is a game at which old white men excel, and that perhaps women don’t do well. Joe Biden has been playing the game of politics for half a century. He knows all the tricks. Campaigning comes naturally to him. Female candidates on the campaign trail tend to look uncomfortable.

A look at the Anglosphere over the past couple of decades tends to confirm this. The careers of Hillary Clinton, Theresa May and in Australia Julia Gillard all ended ignominiously. Those three women had proved themselves to be very adept at political infighting. They successfully clawed their way to the top. But when they had to hit the campaign trail they didn’t look very impressive.

Maybe it’s not that old white men are good at this game, but rather that a certain type of male personality is very good at it. To be a successful politician requires the same skill set that makes a successful whore. A good whore tells her client, “I’ll be whatever kind of girl you want me to be.” A successful politician tells the voters the same things. Being a political whore seems to come naturally to a certain type of male personality. Perhaps they’re psychopaths. Women politicians don’t seem to be as good at that game as the men. Maybe there aren’t enough female psychopaths.

Maybe the age of the pale stale males is passing away but it seems to be taking its time.

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