Do we need diversity requirements for Cabinet positions? | The Tylt
Do we need diversity requirements for Cabinet positions?
Some see Donald Trump's pale and male Cabinet as proof that we need diversity requirements for high-ranking government positions. If we are truly a government of the people, by the people, for the people—then it should look like the people.
But supporters of Trump's hiring moves point to high-profile Cabinet nominees like Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, and Steve Mnuchin as evidence that trying to find the highest-quality candidates is more important than appointing token minorities to Cabinet position. Trump is thinking outside-the-box and bringing incredibly successful people into the White House. That should matter more than race.
This isn't just about appearing to look diverse to appease the mainstream media, but the very real and distinct responsibility of governing all Americans. White males make up just 30 percent of the U.S. population, but 80 percent of Donald Trump's cabinet—and they'll be tasked with crafting policy that will impact everybody else.
“There are many white men who are extremely savvy and sensitive and understanding of diversity. There is no question about that,” said Marc Morial, the head of the National Urban League. “The question is, do people feel their voices are heard? That's really important, that communities feel someone is at the table with my point of view.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer is already discussing a "Rooney rule" for Democrats, why not expand it to the rest of Congress and the entire executive branch? Americans just voted in one of the most diverse Congresses in U.S. history, but many of the top spots are still going to white men. If we can't break our crippling addiction to white men voluntarily, maybe a hard-and-fast rule might help?
First off, Cabinet members have always served at the pleasure of the president. When we elect a president, it's with the knowledge that the chief executive can hire and fire who they please. Putting any kind of restriction on who the president can appoint to the Cabinet is not just unprecedented, it's unfair.
Obama's Cabinet was not an accurate representation of the U.S. population, so why should Trump's (or any president's Cabinet, for that matter)? Filling the Cabinet should be about hiring the best people and not trying to placate constituencies. That's what is truly sickening.
“President-elect Trump doesn’t really so much look at the Cabinet and say, ‘Hey, I need a black guy over here and I need a woman over there,’'” said Mr. Levell, executive director of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. “He fights very hard to put the best individual that's qualified who can run the agency for his administration. Most people of color are OK with the fact that, ‘Hey, if this person is qualified and can do the job, then God bless him.’ “
Trump has nominated governors, decorated generals and some of the most successful men and women in business for top posts. His commitment to rewarding excellency should be applauded, not derided.