The standard criticism of people who benefit from affirmative action, as Justice Clarence Thomas often whines, is that it brands its alleged beneficiaries as less than fully qualified.
Of course, Thomas is definitely a beneficiary of affirmative action. He only got his seat on the Supreme Court because he was a politically compliant African American when Justice Thurgood Marshall decided to retire while a Republican was president of the United States. Republicans, always eager to maintain the facade that their Party stands for something other than “white supremacy,” felt compelled to replace the first African American ever to sit on the Supreme Court with another African American, so they looked around, overlooked any number of very well qualified African Americans because smart African Americans are Democrats, and plucked Thomas from the perch he had ascended to as a token black Republican — affirmative action.
Even as they are the people who are the most likely to denounce the practice, the Republican Party is really the Affirmative Action party. The only difference is that, for Republicans, affirmative action mostly benefits white men.
Donald Trump is the epitome of white boy affirmative action. He is entirely unqualified to serve as president and has performed as badly in the job as any thinking person could have predicted he would, but Republicans, leaders and rank and file, like him because he is a white boy. That’s all that matters for them. That he is an overtly racist white boy is just icing on the cake.
This observation holds for all “conservatives” in the United States. We have lately been treated to snort of derision and a raft of amusing tweets in response to the new book by late Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican Paul Ryan. Most people have joked about his apparent lack of a spine as a way to disparage his absence of courage in immediately legitimizing Trump as president after having criticized him as a candidate, among other failings:
The more relevant point about Paul Ryan for present purposes is that, when he first won election to the house, observers treated him like a golden boy for his supposedly “bold,” if vicious, policy ideas, while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, roughly the same age, also with bold, actually workable ideas, suffers absurd derision for her clothes and other irrelevant qualities.
White boy affirmative action. One could go down the list of “conservatives,” throwing in the occasional woman as appropriate, to include Anne Coulter and Tomi Lahren along with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Jennifer Rubin and Geraldo Rivera and Andrew Sullivan, the entire gamut of “conservative” mediocrities who only get any attention because they are white and “conservative.”
Likely this is why “conservatives” are fighting so hard in the era of Trump. They realize that non-white people can see right through them and they worry about losing their cozy positions and their unearned authority when people of color finally have the chance to compete equally. Just as no one wanted to listen to Pat Boone once Little Richard came along, why listen to Paul Ryan or Donald Trump when we could listen to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kamala Harris?
It’s high time we did away with affirmative action!
White boy affirmative action.