Libby, Libby, Libby Is Using Labels, Labels, Labels
I tried this earlier over Twitter but the 140 character limit doesn’t really lend itself to good debate. Mr. Plain over at RIFuture tweeted about Libby Kimzey’s article on the need for more diversity at the State House. Ms. Kimzey has announced that she is running for a seat in the General Assembly this year.
First, the part I agree with. We do need diversity, but we need more diversity of opinions. We need diversity with regard to following the more powerful members of the Assembly. We need people who will say no to the horse-swapping and arm-twisting that goes on. We need diversity among people to stand up for what’s the right thing to do, even if some high-powered lobbyist tells them otherwise. I’m not advocating for more people in the Assembly to be conservative, though that would be nice, I’m just looking for more divergent thinkers and more people who aren’t there just go along and get along.
So here’s where that article falls apart.
You can’t fix problems you don’t see, and so I want my General Assembly to have eyes in as many places as possible, and I do believe that requires diversity in all factors, from gender, race and age, to class, employment history, and experiences with poverty.
No, no, no. I agree that you can’t fix problems you’re unaware of, but I disagree that it means we necessarily need more people of different gender, race or age. Intelligent people can see problems that don’t affect them and can see arguments from all angles. I don’t care if we elected 100% 95 year old green women, if they were all smart and wanted to do what’s best for Rhode Island. Just because someone is of a certain gender or race or age doesn’t necessarily make them better suited for the Assembly. That sounds a lot like profiling, and I thought people who come from the progressive camp, like Ms. Kimzey, are against profiling, no? So why is it ok to profile people when it suits the argument?
Then there’s this:
So, if you’re a cashier, or a waitress or a salesperson, it’s time you gave some thought to running for office. Your community needs you. The stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines.
What? Why? Is that all we care about? Cashiers and waitresses? How about smart people, Libby? Yes, cashiers and waitstaffers can be smart, but that’s not a quality you wrote that you’re looking for.
Again, I’m glad any time anyone is willing to give up their own time and energy to make a run for public office. However, I think when asking people to run, we should seek out those most qualified and those who would do the best job in the office, and not just those who we can use to check off some boxes.
I’d say good luck to Ms. Kimzey in her run for office but if this is the type of logic and reasoning she’d use in the State House, I think i’ll pass.
PS. In case you’re too young to get the reference in the title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fivBoHfgEs