The Obama White House’s decision to put a woman on the $20 bill before it has decided which woman it will be, represents exactly the same kind of thinking as that which went into the decision by the Lyndon Johnson White House, through the notorious Executive Order 11246 in 1965, to convert the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination against blacks and others, into a quota system that mandated discrimination in favor of blacks and others. In this modern update, we are not electing to replace Alexander Hamilton with another American of similar merit and prominence, but to fill a new quota of one: we now must have at least some woman on the twenty, regardless of whether she measures up to Hamilton. That represents affirmative action, a quota system, every bit as much as Harvard University’s decision to require applicants of Asian descent to score, on average, 450 more points on the SAT test than black applicants and 150 more points than white applicants. Presumably those who are OK with the Harvard admissions policy are also on board with the $20 woman.
Now that we are getting into the habit of picking people on the basis of quotas rather than rational qualifications, next thing you know, someone will suggest we use the same method for electing a President.
Can we survive 18 more months?