Diversity In Government Is A Means, Not An End

A popular topic of conversation, and an easy way to spot people who ride on moral high horses, is the need for diversity in workplaces, government and popular media. Certainly a few crazy people are opposed to diversity for bigoted reasons, but on the other side you have people who treat diversity as the ultimate and only measurement of something's worth.

Diversity is not something to fear. People who talk of "preserving my own culture" and "the importance of strong, male leadership" are usually never anything more than dog-whistle racists, sexists or homophobes. But diversity is also a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.

Last summer, I wrote an article pointing out that representation in movies, TV and music is inadequate if the art itself lacks entertainment value. The same holds true in the public sector. What good would it have done us if we had elected our first female president last November if she too had enacted the same protectionist trade policies, which harm women as well as men? What good are female, liberal senators, if they support abortions which terminate the lives of baby girls as well as baby boys? What good are they if they don't support school choice, which helps every girl obtain a better education? What good is any senator if she doesn't support the right to concealed carry for self-defense, which levels the playing field between marginalized groups and their oppressors?

Do you see where I'm going with this point? Of course I support more female representation in the political system, because half the population needs a voice in government. I support this representation as a means to an end of a better society for women and men. But I'm also not about to vote for women just for the sake of "female solidarity" if I don't think their fiscal and social policies will actually benefit every woman in America.

When liberals worship identity politics and treat diversity as the ultimate goal, they lose sight of bigger issues. Ask a liberal why she thinks we need better representation in government, and watch her flounder. The correct answer is of course old, white, straight, evangelical, rich men should not dominate our government because a democratic-republican government should reflect the wider populace. But the left tends to push diversity simply for the sake of diversity. When a politician is evaluated solely based on demographics rather than policies, we get into harmful stereotyping and may allow our unintentional biases to creep out.

Diversity in government is necessary to give every group a voice. But how politicians and bureaucrats use their voices matters as well. Diversity is a worthy goal, but it's not the ultimate end goal.

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