After playing a key role in his nomination, President-elect Joe Biden wants to give Pete Buttigieg a high-profile position in his new cabinet. However, according to Axios, finding a cabinet position for the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana “has been a challenge as Biden focuses on nominating women and people of color to high-level posts.”
This, of course, is incredibly ironic. Buttigieg identifies as LGBT, and even made history last year as the first openly gay candidate for president to win delegates to a major party convention. A few short years ago, Buttigieg’s LGBT status would have easily qualified him for a cabinet-level position inside a Democrat administration. But in today’s woke identity hierarchy, a gay married man no longer reigns supreme. Buttigieg is now relegated to the position of a cisgender white man, which apparently disqualifies him for a number of high-ranking roles.
The admission that Biden is nominating individuals to the most important roles in government based not on meritocracy but on skin color and sex begs the question about whether the U.S. is getting the best, most qualified people for the jobs. Would Biden have picked Kamala Harris to serve as his vice president had her gender been male or her skin been white? Most people would find this question demeaning and insulting to Harris’ accomplishments and hard work—because it is. However, the Biden administration appears consumed with these superficial qualifications, which have the unfortunate consequence of cheapening individual’s achievements and undermining their work.
While gender and diversity quotas are intended to encourage more women and minorities succeed, they ultimately hurt more than help, signaling that these individuals cannot reach high-level leadership positions without special treatment. Furthermore, they can cause the individuals who are hiring to overlook the person who’s the most qualified for the job.
Instead of nominating cabinet-level roles with the goal of checking a box, Biden should nominate individuals based on merit. And on that front, is a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, qualified to lead diplomatic relations with China—our nation’s most dangerous and committed rival? Let’s hope Joe Biden looks beyond his skin color to ask.