“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We could use a reminder of the quote above from the man of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, where I grew up. Today everything is about skin color or gender — uh, there are only two that go on a coroner’s report — sexual orientation or proclivities, and a variety of other external means of division. It would be grand if we could just get back to merit-based selections, unlike current US Air Force Chief of Staff, and nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Charles Q. Brown. He wants a cap of 46% for white fighter pilots in the Air Force. I find it interesting when Joe Biden addresses our military and harps on the subject of diversity being our greatest strength. Hmm, tell that to the 332nd Fighter Squadron, the famed Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black fighter unit. Their fame was not in being black, it was in never losing a bomber during their escort duties. The “Red Tails” were, after all, the most requested unit by bomber units who wanted to come home. It had nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with skill and merit.
How about the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), the all-Japanese-American infantry unit of the European Theater of Operations which was the highest decorated unit of World War II for its size? US Senator from Hawaii, Daniel Inouye, was a member of that unit, and also a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was not about race; it was about service, sacrifice, commitment, and courage under fire.
It is very troubling to have this false narrative of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) being bandied about in our military. The military is a discriminatory organization because its mission is not about a P&L statement. Its success is measured in lives and the protection of our nation against our enemies. Equity — the equality of outcomes — ain’t the right way to run a railroad, unless you want to enhance the probability of train wrecks. God knows we are seeing quite a few, literally and metaphorically, from this current administration.
The pitfalls of identity politics have resulted in some very inept people in some very high places of power, elected and non-elected. No one better reflects this more than the current vice-president of the United States of America. To fully understand this, we have to go back to the 2016 presidential election.
In 2016, which pitted Hillary “Unclassified Server” Clinton against Donald Trump, the exit polls evidenced something very disturbing for leftists: their Black electoral support dropped. It became very apparent that they needed to re-engage. This is why, early on, former California Attorney General and US Senator Kamala Harris was getting lots of press and coverage. If you recall, Harris went after Joe Biden for being a “segregationist” during a debate. The stage seemed set and the foundation seemed laid. Then came one former US Congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard made mincemeat out of Harris in the subsequent debate, drawing the ire of the Democratic Party establishment. Harris went into freefall and ended up dropping out of the presidential race before the first primary, with only 1%, or less, support.
The Democrats were now in a lurch, and then came their savior, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn. Joe Biden was failing, but a safe bet they believed. However, he had to get a primary win under his belt. It was South Carolina, due to the Back electorate’s support. But, was Joe good enough to excite a national Black electorate? Nope. So who did he call upon to be his running mate? Yep, the person who dropped out before the first primary: Kamala Harris.
The pitfall of identity politics is a clear and present danger for the left. Kamala Harris is less popular than Biden. Joe Biden is hanging out on the beach as more nails are going into the coffin of corruption that is the Biden family, which he is the “Capo de tutti Capi.” The left can ill afford for him to be gone, but they are in panic mode watching him, and “Bidenomics” implode. Who would backfill Joe? Yes, the pitfall of identity politics is real.
As well, the Democrats can ill afford not to have Joe as their nominee, because what happens to VP Harris then? Well, you can’t run two Californians on a ticket, meaning Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom and Harris. Good luck with that. Therefore, if the Democrats were to manipulate things, and move Biden aside as the nominee, the Black electorate will see this as a slight. The risk is that they do not show up next fall in 2024.
Let me also caution former President Trump. I have heard that he is looking to select a female as VP running mate. That is also the pitfall of identity politics. Shall we recall John McCain’s decision in 2008 to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin because he felt since the Democrats slighted Hillary Clinton for Barack Obama, women would vote for him and Gov. Palin. Very wrong theory, as we have come to realize, that leftist women hold utter disdain for conservative women. The same for Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians (who are now “enabling white supremacy” because of the SCOTUS Affirmative Action ruling).
For the first time in a long time, perhaps ever, this national election could see the vice-presidential nominee for either party be impactful. The party that avoids the pitfall of identity politics and chooses someone based on merit and talent, rather than cultural Marxist DEI nonsense, could see that selection as a game changer.
The Army taught me that leadership is about courage, competence, commitment, conviction, and character, not external characteristics, like skin color. The best prism through which we should select leaders for this nation, elected or non-elected, should be based upon criteria that place merit at the top. No more pitfalls and pitiful selections of nonsensical buffoons just so we can say we have met some insidious quota. America, especially at this time, needs the best.
Steadfast and Loyal.
This article first appeared at Townhall.com.