In the past, the same kind of person composed the entirety of America’s government. But as America’s population grows increasingly diverse, and as citizens realize the effects of electing minorities and underrepresented groups to office, the need for a legislative body to reflect the diversity of the people it governs has become more widely recognized. “The more diverse a group of decision makers is, the more informed the decision will be,” California senator Kamala Harris recently tweeted. Unfortunately, progress is discouragingly slow, and Congress is composed of more or less the same type of person it was a century ago.
In times of representation stagnation, it’s easy to become disheartened. So when you get bummed out about your governing body’s lack of diversity, it can help to remember the many historic steps forward. Just take a look at these Senate game-changers, all of whom are bringing a fresh perspective to Congress, the majority of which looks totally different than them.
1. Lamar Alexander
The third-term senator hails from Maryville, Tennessee, and is a tireless advocate for states’ rights. The Republican served as the 45th governor of Tennessee and as the Secretary of Education under George H. W. Bush. He’s also a white male. Diversity win!
2. John Barrasso
The orthopedic surgeon, who was once voted Wyoming Physician of the Year, now represents the state in the Senate. After changing career tracks and running for public office, he received an “A” grade from the National Rifle Association and a 9 percent lifetime score on the National Environmental Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters. He is a passionate member of the white male Senate bloc and has expressed his pride in participating in such a historic movement.
3. Michael Bennet
This Democratic white dude acted as the Superintendent of Denver Public Schools before being elected Colorado’s senior United States Senator. Bennet lists immigration reform, energy efficiency, and quality education among his top political priorities. He seems like the kind of white dude who actually liked “The Awakening” in high school; however, this has not been confirmed.
4. Richard Blumenthal
Before representing the state of Connecticut in the Senate, Blumenthal served five terms as Connecticut’s Attorney General. His tireless work in both positions has ensured that consumers, laborers, victims of crime, and white men everywhere finally have a voice in government.
5. Roy Blunt
The Missouri Republican has a background in education, having acted as a history teacher and university president. Missourians elected Blunt to the House of Representatives seven times before his 2010 Senate election. He hates online poker and minimum wage raises and loves restricting over-the-counter drugs used to make meth. Blunt, as a white, male United States senator, is a powerful leader of a severely underrepresented group.
6. John Boozman
This healthcare-provider-turned U.S. Senator is the chair of the White Men with Glasses Caucus.
7. Sherrod Brown
Brown, a former Ohio State University instructor and Ohio Secretary of State, speaks one-on-one with constituents at community roundtables, making sure he hears the views of his 82.7-percent Caucasian voter base.
8. Richard Burr
Before representing North Carolina in the Senate, Burr served in the House of Representatives for a decade and worked in the private business sector for seventeen years. The white man is anti-abortion, anti-Dodd Frank, and anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership. He is pro-states’ rights, pro-Keystone XL, and pro-repealing the Affordable Care Act. Unlike Michael Bennet, Richard Burr didn’t even read the whole book and called Edna a crazy bitch.
9. Ben Cardin
Not only does Ben Cardin contribute to the pathetically small numbers of white male senators, he is also a member of the Cute Grandpa Club. (Note: while most of the senators on this list belong to the Creepy Old Man Who Tells You You’re Pretty in Church Club, their accomplishments are in no way less valued.) The Maryland representative advocates for the integration of human rights into foreign policy and environmental protection. Cardin was described by The Baltimore Sun as “a man of substance and integrity who understands complicated issues and the art of compromise.”
10. Tom Carper
Carper is a Democratic senator from Delaware who has mastered the art of the white-male senator-grimace-smile.
11. Bob Casey
Like my boyfriend, Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey believes in an improved support system for victims of sexual assault, excellence in public education, and a safety net for underprivileged individuals. Also like my boyfriend, he flaunts a “I don’t give a fuck, I’m a white male” unibrow look.
12. Bill Cassidy
As one could presume from his name, Bill Cassidy is a Republican white man. He serves as senator for the state of Louisiana.
13. Thad Cochran
The Mississippi senator was elected to the senate in 1978. He is the third most-senior Senator and the second most-senior Republican member, making Cochran the Oldest of the Old White Government Dudes. He can spell his state faster than you.
14. Chris Coons
The Delaware Democrat is an unapologetic white male voice in a sea of other white male voices.
15. Bob Corker
Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, was elected into the Senate in 2007, joining the ranks of white male senators gazing broodingly into the camera like they’re posing for an adolescent Air Supply cover album sleeve.
16. John Cornyn
The Senate Majority Whip and Texas senator’s backstory sounds like the stuff of my parents’ nightmares: “After starting as a biology major, hoping to become a doctor, Sen. Cornyn realized science wasn’t his passion and he switched to journalism and worked for the school paper.” Thanks, John Cornyn, for the inspiration to follow your dreams (if you’re a white man).
17. Tom Cotton
Judging by his website photos alone, Tom Cotton is either a buckskin horse or a bale of hay. Understandably, the voters of Arkansas voted the white man into office in 2015.
18. Mike Crapo
Like so many of his fellow white men, Crapo won’t answer his phone, even as jilted lovers/angry constituents grow increasingly desperate. Why won’t you answer my calls, Mike? Do you really love Betsy more than me?
19. Ted Cruz
Texas senator Ted Cruz, alias Rafael Cruz, is the son of a Cuban immigrant and founded the Latino Law Journal at Harvard and is therefore an Honorary Listicle White Man. (Disagree with his inclusion? Listen to him speak for ten minutes and get back to me.) He ran for president in the 2016 election and lost to a Twitter addict with a bad comb-over. Cruz has won the US National Debating Championship, the North American Debating Championship, and the title of The World’s Most Punchable Simpering Face. He is totally not the Zodiac Killer.
Feel better about your lack of representation in government yet? Me, too!
Last updated: February 16, 2017, 12:25 PM by Madison Shumway