Archive for the ‘Political Correctness’ Category

So, imagine if you will, the CEO of a top Fortune 500 company.  A long-standing leader in the industry, with satellite branches in other countries and significant influence across the globe. Thousands of employees, hundreds of divisions, involved in everything from pharmaceuticals to oil refineries to high-tech research and development.

Now, imagine that this company is plagued by scandals.  An overseas plant is caught using child labor.  Another facility is shown to have falsified safety reports.  Low-grade medicines being pawned off as premium quality with high prices.  The more the problems that come to light, the more people start digging, and things just keep getting worse.

Now, imagine that time and again the CEO’s response to each new revelation of wrong-doing, oversight, or unethical business practice is, “You can’t blame me, I only found out about this when I read about it in the Wall Street Journal!”  And even as his corporation begins to crumble around him, he continues to go on golf outings with his rich buddies, takes his extended family on numerous overseas vacations on the company dime, and continues to try and divert attention from his problems by pointing fingers at everyone else but himself.

Now imagine millions of customers and consumers of this corporation’s products — who might otherwise hate big business — turning a blind eye to evey misstep and instance of malfeasance on the part of the CEO…because he’s black.  And then attacking his critics as racist for daring to impugn the character of this fine, upstanding member of the community!

In the real world, just how long do you suppose that this CEO would remain the CEO?  How many more instances of incompetence, disconnectedness, and destructive business practices would the clientelle endure before the stockholders got fed up and had him fired?

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

WHAT!?!  HOW CAN YOU SAY SUCH A THING!???!  RACIST!!  HATER!!!1!1!

Wait.  It get’s better.  DON’T ELECT A WHITE MAN EITHER!  Don’t elect a woman.  Don’t elect a hispanic, or a lesbian, or Jew.  Don’t elect a Mormon or a Christian or a Buddhist.

Next time…Elect. A. PRESIDENT.

The criteria used to select the qualifications of those who serve in the highest offices of our lands, of those who will help frame and craft our laws, who we elect to guide the country forward and make the difficult decisions required of leaders in this day and age should have NOTHING to do with their skin color, their gender, their religion or their “cultural heritage.”

ObamaHalo2I propose that we are in the mess we are in right now because we elected a black man. Not because Barack Obama is black, but because we as a voting populace became so enamored of the idea of electing an African-American as President, became soooo fixated on the sense of accomplishment we could collectively feel at breaking through this cultural barrier into a new, undiscovered “enlightenment” that we allowed ourselves to be swayed.  We turned a blind eye to what should have been some very real concerns about this individual’s (lack of) qualifications, experiences, questionable associations and storied background, and allowed ourselves to be swept along on a carefully manipulated wave of euphoric idealism.

And so we elected a black man.  Because it made us feel good to do it.  Not because he was in any way the most qualified, not because he had any demonstrated talent or ability for the position, not because he would best be able to represent the interests of the United States on the global stage…but because he was an icon we wanted.  More than anything, I think voting for Barack Obama became a sort of social statement about our ability to somehow atone for a shameful past. {Cue Music: “We are marching to Pre-torrrria….}

There aren’t enough of any one particular minority demographic in the United States to elect a President.  Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Amerian Indians, Asians, young, old, rich, poor…we aaaalll had to play a part.  It became part of a collective social consciousness.  For some it was a chance to speak out, to elect someone they hoped would “represent their interests” better than an establishment white guy might.  For some it was, I think, a chance to show how enlightened, how tolerant, how progressive they were in bucking the existing paradigm.  Many perhaps voted for Barack Obama out of some vague sense of racial or social guilt which they felt might be assuaged or expunged if they participated in this great social awakening.  Of course, many just bought into the class warfare schtick he was selling and wanted the free stuff he was offering.

NONE of which is a very solid foundation for picking a candidate for the office of the President of the United States.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve got absolutely no problem with either the idea or the practical reality of someone who is black becoming president.  You put a Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas or an Alan West or maybe even a a Condolleza Rice in there and hey, they’ve got my vote.  Why?  Because I like their politics.  Their personal philosophy resonates with me. I can look at a record of accomplishments which suggest to me a level of overall professional competence which grants me a sense of confidence in their ability to handle the demands of the position.

Not because of, or in spite of their skin color.  Or their gender.  Or their religious beliefs.  Because I think they are the most qualified, and so that other stuff SHOULDN’T MATTER. Right?  Isn’t that what true equality is really all about?  Shouldn’t THAT be considered the truly “enlightened” approach?

So, I hope we’ve learned our lesson.  As we sit mired in double digit unemployment, as our national debt continues to skyrocket, after six years with no signed federal budget and a sequestration which imposes daily pain on the infrastructure of this nation while the President golfs and vacations, I hope our euphoria has faded.  I hope our guilt-motivated idealism has moderated a bit.  I hope that when the times comes again, whether on the local or national stage, we don’t elect a black man, or a white man, or a woman, or a {fill in the blank}.

I hope we wise up and elect the people MOST QUALIFIED to lead this country, regardless of how their chormosomes are configured.