Thursday, February 12, 2009


There is a long history of racial and gender discrimination in this country. For a generation, liberals and conservatives have debated whether affirmative action policies attempting to remedy this are good, right, and moral or counter-productive, wrong-headed, and racist themselves. Both groups (once their heads are removed from their nether regions) would no doubt agree that the best society would be one where all were treated equally, all groups were well-represented in important roles, and all this came about naturally without any identity-based policies to promote such an outcome.
And we finally have signs of this. Distinguished luminaries from the right and left have claimed that liberals supported Obama in part because of white guilt. For me it was all about identity politics. I don't have any guilt over slavery. It's just that the guy has a white mother like I do.

But we know for sure that good old-fashioned Republicans would never engage in such identity politics and are committed to selecting leaders solely based on their merits. Which is why it's so comforting to note that since the Democrats nominated the first black Presidential candidate, the Republicans simply went about picking the most qualified VP candidate to run against Obama, the most qualified person to lead the opposition to Obama, and now the most qualified person to respond to Obama's address to congress — all without regard to gender, race, or ethnic background.

If it were the Democrats, doubters might suspect that they were playing identity politics, but with the Republicans we know it's just meritocracy pure and simple, and that it had nothing to do with fear of putting white men up against a black candidate and President.

We're almost there as a society. Almost.

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