Monthly Archives: January 2013
John Kerry, John Brennan, Jack Lew, Chuck Hagel. Do you notice anything odd about these names? The media definitely has. These four nominees for the second term Cabinet of President Obama all happen to be white men. A recent picture run by the New York Times shows a potential staff for the second term. In it are one woman, one non-white man, and a herd of white men. This has many in the media–and therefore, many in America–up in arms. I guess nobody gave President Obama his binder full of women after he won the election.
Amid all the implications of sexism and inequality being thrown around by feminists, and the predictable war on women cry from angry conservatives one very important point of view is being ignored; the President’s. We are asking Barack Obama to perform one of the hardest jobs any human being could take on. Under ideal circumstances being President is enough to drive many people clinically insane. Throw in trillion dollar deficits, two wars, a collapsing, then fragile economy, a near default, a credit downgrading, a fiscal cliff, another near default sure to come, an ambassador dying in a terrorist attack, the mass shootings under his watch, and a Congress determined to make him fail and it is impressive he has it together at all! The last thing he needs is grief about the people he has chosen to be closest to him to help him get through it all and come out the other end with a stable nation.
I understand the opposition to Susan Rice, or any other nominee for that matter, on grounds of competence or judgment or anything of that nature; however, to throw a fit because there are too many Y chromosomes is just one more sour vegetable the president should not have to eat. I have made it perfectly clear that I did not think President Obama deserved a second term, but America disagreed with me. As a nation we re-elected him for his vision of our nation, a vision which he cannot achieve without help. Now we want to criticize him for choosing the best help?
Calm down feminists; let’s not get up in arms. I’m not saying women are not qualified to work in the cabinet of the President. Hillary Clinton worked harder as Secretary of State than anyone in a generation. Women can certainly do these jobs, the fact is that is not who the President wants this time around, and that should not be an insult. There is more in question than competence for a top aide. If the ability to do the job was the only qualification there would be no such thing as a “short list”, the President would be taking applications. To be a top aide the president has to consider how respected you are in politics, both nationally and internationally. He has to know that he is on the same page as his aides, that he can trust them because he cannot micromanage them. He has to know that they will make a decision as he would. He knows what life, business, and political experience he needs to bring to the table. With the debt negotiations he has to know aide s will be willing to strike a deal–a deal he would strike–and know when to stand firm. He needs to not only trust their judgment, but agree with it. In the world of politics there are often many ways to judge a situation, none of them more wrong than the other; so the president needs to be comfortable with their outlook.
He also needs different perspectives. People who will disagree with him, challenge him, and make sure he does the best job possible. In his four cabinet nominations so far this term, the people who best fit these needs happened to be white males. If we are ever to reach true equality we cannot have a problem with this. There were certainly females and minorities who fit these needs, but not in the way the President wanted. It is not a coach’s job to use the best players; it is their job to build the best team, no matter who those players are. That is what the president has done. We elected him to build a team; it is time to stop questioning that team on grounds of gender. Would we want the president to feel like his cabinet is missing a key piece for the next 4 years just because he needed to fill some affirmative action quota? That is no way to run a country.
This country–our media–has to stop digging for stories where there are none. No female or minority has any less of an opportunity than a white male. In fact, with affirmative action, they have more of an opportunity. Racism or sexism is singling someone out and treating them different on the grounds of race or gender; programs like affirmative action do this. If racism and sexism are bad for our nation they are bad the whole way around, not just in the negative. Equality is not a measurement of how many females or minorities are in the cabinet or in Congress, it is a question of whether or not anything stops them from running for Congress. The best candidates, the best employees, the best soldiers, and the best students should be the ones to earn the spot, no matter their race, religion, gender, or any other category. Equal Opportunity should mean exactly what it says.
The Supreme Court has nobody to represent the largest demographic in the nation—white protestants. Is anyone making a fuss about this? No, nor should they be. But if our highest judiciary body had no women, feminist groups would declare a revolution. We have reached a point where the white middle class male is the most discriminated against person in the nation. This is not equality. Equality does not have a bubble for race or gender on an application. Only if we reach this point do we stand by two of the most defining phrases in our history; that all men are created equal, and that we will only be judged by the content of our character. Or am I a chauvinist because men made both those statements?
43% of President Obama appointees have been female. He has been very fair and very consistent. It is amazing to me that the media has made a bigger story out of this than the fact that President Obama has just re-nominated 33 judges for federal positions, (about half of whom are women by the way) some of whom the Senate has already refused to confirm. That a story worth covering. The gender of his cabinet nominees is not. The only thing he owes to women is the same thing he owes to the rest of the nation. Run the country the way he truly believes is best. No women in the White House? No problem.
10 January 2013