Tag Archives: diversity

Political diversity is far from dead

The next Democratic Party presidential nominee is going to be an old white man. One of the two remaining major candidates is 77 years of age; the other one is 78.

The gigantic 2020 Democratic primary field started out as the most diverse in history: five women; three African Americans (one of whom is a woman); an Asian-American businessman; a gay man; a Hindu woman.

We’re now left with the two old white guys: former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

I am all in for Biden. Never mind that … for now.

What’s left now is for one of these fellows to fight it out with each other and the winner to determine with whom he wants to run for the White House.

So much of the chatter has centered on the rivals who’ve dropped out. I want to expand the field of candidates for vice president way beyond building a “team of rivals.”

This much is as clear as anything one can imagine about the 2020 presidential campaign: The Democratic Party ticket is going to include either a woman, a woman or man of color, or possibly a woman of color.

So let’s quell the talk about the “death of diversity,” shall we?

As for the huge pool of potential running mates either for Biden or Sanders, one of these men can look far and wide well beyond the individuals whom they have defeated. Every state in the Union is full of competent, racially diverse individuals — including many women — involved at all levels of government.

I also agree that the once-huge Democratic field is full of competence, charisma and character. So, whomever emerges from the fight that’s about to commence from this day forward until the presidential nomination convention will have a rich field from which he can find a suitable running mate.

However, you can take this straight to the bank: The next Democratic VP nominee will not be an old white guy.

Liberals should heed advice from one of their own

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Nicholas Kristof makes no apologies for being a liberal thinker.

Nor should he. The New York Times columnist, though, offers a serious word of caution to his fellow liberals and progressives: If you mean what you say about demanding diversity in all aspects of contemporary life, then do not shut out those ideas with which you disagree.

Kristof’s essay in the Sunday New York Times echoes a recurring theme on which he has written before.

He chides universities and colleges for becoming echo chambers, for demonstrating unwillingness to hear thoughts expressed by those on the right, even the far right.

He says this about his fellow liberals: “We champion tolerance, except for conservatives and evangelical Christians. We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.”

Ouch, man!

He’s correct. We see this played out on occasion when universities invite noted conservatives to speak on their campuses. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been victimized by outrage expressed by liberal faculty members and student body officers; so has Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration.

Even here in the Texas Panhandle, when one-time Bush presidential strategist Karl Rove was invited a few years ago to deliver a speech at a West Texas A&M University graduation event, you’d have thought WT had invited the spawn of Satan himself, based on some of the reaction.

Kristof has delivered a sound message for all his fellow liberals to heed. If you truly want diversity of thought and opinion, then open your own eyes, ears … and minds.

As Kristof writes: “It’s ineffably sad that today ‘that’s academic’ often means ‘that’s irrelevant.’ One step to correcting that is for us liberals to embrace the diversity we supposedly champion.”

Amen, brother.

Liberal offers an instructive scolding to liberals

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When a conservative scolds liberals about being intolerant, one can chalk it up to sour grapes or to the bias of the person doing the scolding.

The same can be said when the roles are reversed.

However, when a liberal scolds liberals — or when a conservative scolds his or her brethren — that gets people’s attention.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has offered an interesting lecture about liberal intolerance.

Here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/opinion/sunday/a-confession-of-liberal-intolerance.html?_r=0

He says liberal thinkers are none too tolerant of conservative thinkers on our nation’s higher education campuses. The intolerance undercuts liberals’ time-honored call for greater “diversity” of thought.

Hmmm. He’s suggesting that liberals want diversity as long as it agrees with their world view.

College and university campuses have erupted over many years when administrators invite conservatives to speak at, say, convocations or commencement exercises. Kristof’s essay talks about the reluctance of higher ed institutions to hire conservatives as faculty members.

Even in politically conservative regions, such as the Texas Panhandle, we’ve seen similar reactions to the presence of conservatives on college campuses.

Do you remember the mini-uproar that boiled up years ago when West Texas A&M University invited Karl Rove — the architect of President George W. Bush’s winning campaigns — to speak at an event honoring WT graduates? Some faculty officials disliked having Rove speak to the students.

Universities ought to welcome, embrace, even solicit differing — and diverse — points of view.

According to Kristof, though, they’ve become havens for liberal/progressive thinkers who dislike mingling with those on the other side of the fence.

Message received, Mr. Kristof.

 

No diversity on Democratic bench? C'mon!

The Hill newspaper has a headline that shouts that actual and potential Democratic candidates for president lack “diversity.”

The Democratic “bench” is too, um, bland … or some such thing.

Hold on here.

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/239460-democrats-have-no-bench-and-no-diversity-in

The trio of mug shots that accompany the news story attached here tell me something quite different.

* Hillary Rodham Clinton is, quite obviously, a woman. She was first lady for eight years from 1993 until 2001. She served in the U.S. Senate and then as secretary of state. Enough said there.

* Jim Webb is a former U.S. senator from Virginia. He’s a Vietnam War veteran. He saw combat as a Marine. He served in the Reagan administration, not exactly a bastion of progressive principles.

* Bernie Sanders is an independent U.S. senator from Vermont. He’s a card-carrying, say-it-loud-and-proud socialist. He makes no bones about his share-the-wealth philosophy.

I won’t mention Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who keeps saying she isn’t running.

Oops. I just did.

Those three individuals look pretty diverse to me. They each bring a different set of governing principles to a presidential campaign.

Only one of them, Clinton, has declared her candidacy. Webb has formed an exploratory committee, while Sanders is keeping his options open.

I get what The Hill means, though, about the lack of “diversity.” It refers to the Republican field that so far has two Hispanic candidates — Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. There well might be a woman, Carly Fiorina, in the mix as well. An African-American, Ben Carson, is likely to run.

Let us not dismiss the potential Democratic primary field as being bland and one-note boring.

Among the possible field of three — Clinton, Webb and Sanders — one can find plenty of ideological diversity.