Hey Voters: No More Old White Guys

The race for Mayor of Chicago is coming down to the wire and I'm still trying to decide who the person is that will actually do the best job without further bankrupting the city and filling his/her pockets with ill-gotten cash. At the same time, voters are being doused with seemingly daily announcements of people who want to wrest the presidency from Donald Trump in November 2020. There is a consistency with my views on each election even though I haven't decided who I will vote for in either: No more old white guys. Please.

In Chicago, an old white guy seems to be using soon-to-be former Mayor Rahm Emanuel's funding faucet to bolster a relatively position-free campaign. Bill Daley, white and 71 years old, is now a front-funner in a number of polls, conveniently following a recent influx of cash from another white guy, Ken Griffin (only 50, so not yet "old"), commonly known as the richest man in Illinois. While Daley has an impressive set of professional credentials, his old white-guy-ness together with the "haven't we had enough Daleys in charge in Chicago" really should eliminate him from voters' realistic consideration.

Similarly, just today, the Twittersphere was awash with the announcement that an old white guy is going to run for President again. Senator Bernie Sanders made his announcement that surprised no one and he said that the thing he'd do differently this time, now that he's 77 years old, rather than four years ago when he was a spritely 73, is that this time he's "going to win."

The former Governor of Illinois (having packed up and gone back to his millionaire status last month) is a 63-year old white guy who frankly accomplished nothing notable in his four years in office. Whether 63 is "old" is debatable, but for purposes of the discussion, let's say it is. Rauner was replaced by a 54-year old white guy; albeit not "old," but not young or non-white either.

Of course our current president is an old white guy. He's 72 and seems older than that.

As a white guy myself on the back side of 50 and who has started feeling pains in places that he didn't know could provide pain, I would argue that not only are the views of most white male politicians largely borne on lives that have been relatively sheltered and undisturbed; they have also never had the worries and disappointments of those who are disliked and disparaged simply due to the hue of their skin.

Fortunately, in Chicago (and already in the Presidential race), we have numerous non-old-white-guy candidates to choose from. There are African-American men and women, Hispanic men and women, and not old white guys to choose from. In fairness and sticking with the 63+ = old standard, mayoral candidates Toni Preckwinkle (71), Willie Wilson (70), Paul Vallas (65) and Bob Fioretti are old (66). But, only Vallas and Fioretti are both old and white guys.

There is nothing scientific or sociologically based about the position I am taking here. Simply said, the City of Chicago has been overseen into financial duress by one old white guy (Richie Daley) and a not yet old white guy (Rahm Emanuel); the State of Illinois is positioned on the verge of bankruptcy by two old white guys, the former Governor and the guy who really runs the state, Sen. Mike Madigan (76); and this country is being, at a minimum, morally bankrupted by an old white guy who paints his face orange for some reason.

The next Mayor of Chicago may be a con-artist or a thief and may get indicted. On the other hand, he or she might be a hero and financial genius. It doesn't hurt to give the non-old-white-guy crowd a chance, especially in light of recent history. I'm sure those who may disagree will say that I'm just as bad as the people who choose someone simply because they share that candidate's race or ethnicity. To that I say, get out there and vote!



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