New York Times columnist Ross Douthat is coming under some criticism online for a column titled "Why We Miss the WASPs."
The column's subtitle stated, "Their meritocratic, diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well."
The piece reflected on the leadership of former President George H.W. Bush on the day of his funeral, but was criticized by those who saw racism in Douthat's nostalgia for leadership from white Anglo-Saxons.
"Unsurprisingly, Ross Douthat yearns for more white supremacy," wrote Lily Herman, a contributing editor at Refinery29.
Unsurprisingly, Ross Douthat yearns for more white supremacy. pic.twitter.com/lkcEGafbaL— Lily Herman (@lkherman) December 5, 2018
Ross Douthat's "Why We Miss The WASPs" column is truly remarkable because it is both utter, racist garbage and is also probably the closest I've seen a conservative get to vocalizing their actual worldview while also explaining what's wrong with this country. 1/— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) December 5, 2018
what the hell is this pic.twitter.com/6eIBJSzdT6— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 5, 2018
Whenever I’m stressed about my writing, I just remind myself that men like Ross Douthat are gainfully employed at the venerable, perfect-in-every-way New York Times. And then I laugh and laugh. And get back to work. https://t.co/7v8CFnv70k— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) December 5, 2018
Douthat, who did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill, wrote that Americans miss Bush because "we miss the WASPs — because we feel, at some level, that their more meritocratic and diverse and secular successors rule us neither as wisely nor as well."
Douthat admited that the "old ruling class" was "bigoted and exclusive and often cruel," but argues that a "self-replicating upper class" still exists in the U.S. and that it uses the same exclusionary tactics.
Though the "old ruling class" had its faults, Douthat argued that its focus on training "privileged children for service, not just success" resulted in a more moral ruling class than the U.S. has today.
"In any scenario the WASP elite would have had to diversify and adapt," he wrote. "But its virtues were to some extent transferable to a more diverse society."