“I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

— Stephen King tweet, Jan. 14

Mr. King, who is renowned for terrifying his readers, horrified the liberal establishment with his apparent indifference to diversity. As we’ve come to expect when people say things that are politically incorrect, but true, King has since back-pedaled. His initial remarks were right on the money.

In fact, a merit-centric philosophy should apply to artists and politicians alike. But it doesn’t. At least among Democrats, who bend a knee and bow their heads at the mere mention of diversity.

For several decades, progressive activists and “journalists” (if you’ll forgive the redundancy) have assured us that the Republican Party is a bastion of racism, sexism and homophobia. But in recent weeks, the Democratic Party’s tokens of diversity — women and people of color — have abandoned the presidential race in droves.

Openly gay contender Pete Buttigieg remains in the contest, but he lags far behind the old, white, heterosexuals Democrats prefer. In the Real Clear Politics average of polls from mid-January, Joe Biden leads with 29%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 23% and Elizabeth Warren a distant third at 14%. Buttigieg is at 7%.

Progressive financiers and activists have ignored multiple women, people of color and a gay man. The irony is delicious. The whiff of sexism, racism and homophobia that hangs over the Democrats can’t be blamed on Republicans; they have nothing to do with the liberal party’s nominating process.

Foremost among the hand-wringers are writers from The Associated Press. In an article in early January, the AP laments the withdrawal of Julian Castro, to whom the writer immediately refers as “the only Latino in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race.” Tragically, his exit “reflects the increasing lack of color in a Democratic field that began as one of the most diverse in history.”

Two weeks later, U.S. Sen. Cory “Spartacus” Booker withdrew. From the distraught AP we learned, “For African Americans, Booker’s exit is more meaningful than just being one less option to consider.”

How so?

According to liberal activist Helen Moore of Detroit, who is quoted by the AP, “It means that we don’t count. Now, we can’t look forward to any black candidate being considered from now until it’s time to vote. They are completely out of the picture.”

Technically, that’s not true. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is black, is still in the race. But in the aforementioned RCP poll, he drew less than 1% support.

But even if it were true, so what? The notion that only a black person can effectively represent black people is absurd. As Allen Johnson, the News & Record’s editorial page editor, pointed out last week, “The African American unemployment rate is the lowest it has ever been, as is black youth unemployment. Trump has supported criminal justice reform.”

Barack Obama served two terms, but in his eight years,he didn’t achieve nearly as much for blacks as Trump has in three. Diversity zealots will do everything in their power to obscure such unpleasant realities.

Speaking of zealots, Elizabeth Warren’s diversity fetish has compelled her to make a patently ridiculous campaign promise: “My administration,” she wrote in a Jan. 21 policy paper, “will be committed to diversity and inclusion.” That’s a delightful platitude, but how does Warren intend to demonstrate her commitment?

“I will build a Cabinet and senior leadership team that reflects the full diversity of America, including having at least 50% of Cabinet positions filled by women and non-binary people,” she wrote. Seriously.

A modest proposal: Why don’t we simply elect the most qualified person, regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation?

Charles Davenport Jr. is a News & Record columnist. His column appears the first and third Sundays of the month Contact him at cdavenportjr@hotmail.com.

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