White Protestants, your monopoly is over

10 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
White Protestants, your monopoly is over


Dean Obeidallah

September 10, 2012


Editor's note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is a political comedian and frequent commentator on various TV networks including CNN. He is the editor of the politics blog " The Dean's Report " and co-director of the upcoming documentary, "The Muslims Are Coming!" Follow him on Twitter: @deanofcomedy

(CNN) -- Attention white Anglo-Saxon Protestants: Your days of running things are over. You have jumped the shark.

But there's no need to feel bad for WASPs.

They've had an amazing run. Every single president in our nation's history, except for John F. Kennedy -- a Catholic -- and Barack Obama, has been a white Protestant. Except for a handful of exceptions, for over 200 years the presidential nominees of both major political parties have been WASPs. WASPs had almost as many victories in a row as The Harlem Globetrotters.

But it's over. Look at this year's presidential tickets: A Mormon, an African-American, and two Catholics. Even some of the keynote speakers at the Democratic and Republican conventions were not WASPs. The GOP featured Italian-Irish Catholic Chris Christie and the Democrats tapped Latino-American, Julian Castro .

Times are so bleak for WASPs that there's not a single one on the Supreme Court. Likewise, in Congress, the percentage of Protestants fell from 74 percent in 1961 to a slim majority of 55 percent today. Neither the current Speaker of the House (John Boehner: Catholic) nor the Senate majority leader (Harry Reid: Mormon) is WASP.

I'm sincerely not gloating. And my jibes are in jest. But what I'm happy about is that our two major political parties are increasingly reflecting the new face of America. The demographics of our nation are changing and, by 2042, minorities are expected to become the majority in the U.S.

Objectively, the delegates at this year's Democratic convention were far more diverse. The Republican convention looked more like the early bird dinner crowd at The Cracker Barrel.

However, in the GOP's defense, a party that is 90% white, they have started to slowly showcase minorities, such as Sen. Marco Rubio and Govs. Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal. They are well aware that if they don't, the GOP will go the way of the Whigs.

There's little doubt that we will see more diverse presidential candidates. And we will likely see in the not too distant future a president who is Latino, Asian, Jewish, Sikh or Muslim. (That screaming sound you might have heard was Michele Bachmann shrieking in horror at the idea of a Muslim-American president.)

This is a testament to our nation. We are by our very nature progressive. It may take years, or even decades, to see change, but we always march forward, not back.

So, how did we get to where we are today where the white Protestant establishment seems to be losing power? Well, it's kind of complicated (as these things tend to be). There are tons of reasons. But one important factor that has contributed to today's political landscape is changing voting rights laws.

Back in the days when our nation was founded, only white men who owned land could vote. That means rich white men with money get to control the political system. (I know some of you are thinking: How is that different than today?)

In our first presidential election in 1789, no women, no blacks, no poor white men, and in many states neither Catholics nor Jews, were permitted to vote.

Over time, some states abandoned the requirement of land ownership so that poor white men could vote. And the religious restrictions were also lifted so that non-Protestants were able to vote.

However, it wasn't until after 1870, when the 15th Amendment was ratified, that black American citizens were finally guaranteed the right to vote. (Although poll taxes, literacy laws and other measures were still employed in some states to disenfranchise black voters.)

And it took all the way to 1920 -- more than 100 years after our first president was elected -- that women were finally given the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution.

Enfranchising voters of all backgrounds has led to the opening up of our democratic process. Minorities no longer just voted -- they became active in politics. And they didn't just show up at political meetings -- over time they sought elective offices. And some of them won. With each success, they inspire even more minorities of every race, ethnicity and religion to become active in our political system.

So WASPs, you've had your great run. And there is no doubt that another white Protestant will rise up one day against the growing odds and win the White House. But until that day comes, you can console yourself knowing that a white Protestant male is one of the most exciting athletes in our nation today: Tim Tebow. (Of course, he is the back up to Mark Sanchez.)
Niccolo and Donkey
Niccolo and Donkey

"That means rich white men with money get to control the political system. (I know some of you are thinking: How is that different than today?)"

Whoa ho, cutting edge comedy here folks. I think we have a future Daily Show writer on our hands!

In our first presidential election in 1789, no women, no blacks, no poor white men, and in many states neither Catholics nor Jews, were permitted to vote. :thumbsup:
President Camacho
The latter was the real killer blow. Like T777 pointed out, blacks don't really have any kind of discrete political orientation aside from demanding patronage, and traditionally it was the white man he turned to for patronage.

A lot of "parliamentary conservatives" don't seem to understand is how damaging women's suffrage is...

Yesterday sneering at an empire on the rise, because WASP's were at the helm.
Today overjoyed with an empire in demise, with a nigger overwhelmed.

Stars Down To Earth
Women's suffrage was just one byproduct of egalitarianism gone mad.

As I see it, it started going downhill when all adult male citizens, regardless of merit, were given the vote. In the classical republican systems, only the landowning aristocrats (mainly because they had something to lose if anything went wrong) were allowed to have a say in how the state was governed. But now, in the era of equality, any fucking moron had the same political influence as a scientist or intellectual. From there on, it was a short step to giving suffrage to male nogs, and then on to women.

Mass democracy is a total fail.
Outside of the fact that this article could easily have been compiled by a spam bot cycling though the content of various left-liberal blogs, Obeidallah's point is about as fresh as a Monica Lewinsky joke. In fact, the only place that one can find explicit displays of WASPiness are on fashion blogs like The Trad , Ivy Style and A Continuous Lean . Even here one only finds surface-level nostalgia and stylistic fetishism. This can be traced back to pre internet days with the 1980 publication of The Official Preppy Handbook , a tongue in cheek guide to the styles and cultural mores of Northeast patricians. This book served to reveal the methods of the former ruling class ethnos and in turn democratize them for up and comers like its author Lisa Birnbach who stated in an interview with The Jewish Daily Forward :
In fact, the book was updated in 2010 under the title True Prep with the help of “Chip Kidd”, a comic book nerd of doubtful Anglo-Saxon origin . This effort was decidely more accessible, including Barack Obama and Gertrude Stein in their pantheon of ‘True Preps.’

For a more honest appraisal of how this ursupration of identity and standing came to be I turn to passage from The Jewels of the Cabots , a short story by John Cheever:

The Illuminati

Silly article.
Lets face the reality that whoever is sitting on the throne of the Presidency does so at the behest of a higher power. The fact that "change" really meant "This time we gots a brutha fuckin' us ova" instead of a white dude. The higher power will never want to be seen. You'll never hear "Ignore the man behind the curtain" because you'll never even know where the curtain is.
I'm pretty sure that the guys behind the curtain are still the same old guard.