The Right-Wing Response to Biden's Nominees Shows Who Conservative Commentators Think 'Deserves' Success
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Right-Wing Response to Biden's Nominees Shows Who Conservative Commentators Think 'Deserves' Success

The transphobic comments directed towards Rachel Levine and the racism and sexism levied at Vice President Kamala Harris are revealing of the wider right-wing argument that anyone from a traditionally marginalized group reaching a position of authority must be cheating the system.

27
The Right-Wing Response to Biden's Nominees Shows Who Conservative Commentators Think 'Deserves' Success
Image from @VP on Instagram


This was popular conservative commentator and overly-invested Harry Styles critic Ben Shapiro on Rachel Levine, the Biden administration's nominee for assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Now, at this point, no one should be surprised by Ben's blatant transphobia (despite constantly whining that facts don't care about your feelings, he's quite adept at ignoring the constantly-growing number of studies showing that human gender identity is far from binary). But when it comes to Levine, Ben is balancing aggressive, in-your-face transphobia with an only slightly more subtle form of bigotry popular in right-wing circles.

Namely, that they (be 'they' BIPOC, women, LGBT+ people, or any other traditionally marginalized group) are only every successful as token diversity hires and they're out to steal from you, the perpetually, unquestionably deserving cisgender straight white man (or woman).

Now, to be clear, Levine has served as Pennsylvania's Heath Secretary for four years (where she was confirmed by the State's Republican-controlled legislature). Before that, she was Pennsylvania's Physician General for nearly two years. She founded Penn State Hershey Medical Center's adolescent medical division and its clinic for eating disorders.

Rachel Levine is, by any metric, qualified for the position she's been nominated to fill.

But according to Ben Shapiro, Levine's qualifications are only valid when they're used to criticize her. And, sure, go ahead and criticize her for policies you disagree with. She's a public servant, her work should be looked at by the public. Simultaneously, however, Ben tells on himself - Levine has enough experience that he can attack her for it, sure, but the only reason she was nominated must be because she happens to be transgender.

This isn't a unique take, either. When Joe Biden announced he was planning on nominating a woman as his running mate last March, my immediate reaction was to wish he hadn't said that publicly. Not because there wasn't a pool of qualified, deserving women who were up for the job - there were - but because I knew what right-wing pundits would say.

And sure enough, when Biden tapped Kamala Harris for the VP slot, you heard the same thing anywhere from Facebook comments to the Twitters of Republican congressmen - she only got the job because she was a woman of color. Yes, she was a Senator, and the Attorney General of California before that, but yeah, no, she must have been unqualified.

The implication in the "they don't deserve it" rhetoric is obvious. The only people that can actually deserve their positions, by the logic of Ben Shapiro and Rep. Greg Murphy, are heterosexual, cisgender, white men. If only we could go back to the days of hiring by 'merit' - where, incidentally, nearly everyone who 'made it' happened to be white men. The absence of marginalized groups in positions of power isn't because the best candidate was always the white guy; it was because everyone else didn't have the same opportunities. Obviously.

People will continue to celebrate the first transgender assistant secretary of Health and Human Services until people like Ben Shapiro stop spouting the transphobia that makes these accomplishments that much more notable. And if your first thought when you see a transgender woman appointed to the assistant secretary of health or a Black woman becoming Vice President is that they probably didn't deserve it anyway, the issue isn't so-called 'identity politics.' You're probably just a bigot.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1077079

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

684573
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

717660
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

462024
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

282833
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

425940

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

285543

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

192231
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments