American Consequences - January 2021

clear, because he is Hispanic. Indeed, Biden has taken the grandest leap yet into post- modern tokenism with his Cabinet choices, ensuring that this many are African-American and that many are “Latinx,” these are female and those are gay, and this is this and that is that. It’s not that Biden is making choices to represent America or his coalition. Every president does that – though more traditionally, they’ve done it geographically. What’s new about Biden’s approach is that rather than battle the idea that he has used factors other than finding the very best person for every job, he has leaned into the notion that it’s praiseworthy to choose people in large measure on the basis of skin color or ethnic origin. This is America as the new Democratic party understands it... The kind of line often promulgated by those who believe in counting by race and gender and sexual orientation is that the world that results “looks like America.” That’s a terrible line, considering that America is actually 76.2% white. If Biden’s cabinet were to look like America, it would have to be a lot more Caucasian than it is. In any case, we are so far beyond the notion that we should be judged by the content of our characters, rather than the color of our skins, that we should probably start phrasing things in the reverse. Which is just great... By which I mean, it’s just awful.

extreme. DeVos’ tenure as education secretary featured a brave and lonely fight against some of the worst public policy in recent American history – the directives from the Obama administration that schools and colleges should tip the scales of justice in balance toward those who issue career-ending and future-ending accusations of sexual assault. As Christine Rosen has written, DeVos undid Obama-era guidance regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault claims made under Title IX [that presumed the] guilt of the accused and ideologically motivated reasoning. And she did so using the appropriate channels of governance the Obama administration had deliberately discarded in favor of bureaucratic fiat: the rule-making process that allowed for public comment and debate. Rosen also points out that DeVos rescinded regulatory demands that instructed athletes who claimed to be a transgender female (meaning they were born male) be permitted to play in women’s sports. This is the kind of change elections really do cause – not necessarily just on matters like the income-tax rate but policies put in place as part of a larger cultural battle. In this case, fundamental issues of the relations between men and women and the definition of gender... Cardona wasn’t chosen because he would put these policies into effect, however. Any Biden appointee would have. He was chosen, as Biden himself has made almost explicitly

John Podhoretz is the editor of Commentary magazine.

American Consequences


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