Austin Hill

Did Melinda Doolittle deserve to get booted in the semi-finals?

And do you think Jordin Sparks can win it all?

These ladies are not "household names." At least not yet. So if you have no idea who I'm writing about, that's okay - - an explanation, and a lesson about free market economics, is coming up - - so stay tuned.

But first, here's something you probably do know about. Shortly after his November victory in 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton announced publicly that he was going to create a "cabinet that looks like America."

Put in proper context, that comment may have had somewhat of a home-spun, feel-good effect for middle America, but was intended as code-talk for the social and political left saying "the Reagan-Bush white guy era is over, and ‘diversity’ is now the reigning philosophy of Washington."

Of course the Clintons and like-minded others define "diversity" among people in terms of one's gender, skin color, ethnic heritage, and to a lesser degree, socioeconomic background. And given this narrow, simple-minded definition, President Clinton achieved plenty of it in his administration.

Among the many "firsts" during the Clinton presidency were America's first female Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; first Hispanic H.U.D. Secretary Henry Cisneros; and America's first African-American Surgeon General (and likely the first Surgeon General forced to resign over comments made about masturbation - - but that's beside the point) Jocelyn Elders.

For his part, President Bush has brought about even more "diversity" in his cabinet, with, among others, America's first two African-American Secretaries of State Powell and Rice; first Hispanic Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez; first Hispanic Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez; and first Asian Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.

Despite this continued “rise to power” of non-whites in Washington over the past six years, the left ironically ignores these achievements, and criticizes Bush for creating “a cabinet that looks like corporate America” - - a sure sign that in the leftist view of things, only “certains kinds of people” can get credit for “certain kinds of accomplishments.”

But whether it’s presidential appointments or university admissions or governmental employment protocols - - and whether or not you think the above-mentioned cabinet secretaries were good choices - - one thing is certain: America’s obsession with gender and ethnicity diminishes the significance of personal merit.

Such thinking places an emphasis on a person’s skin color and body parts, while de-emphasizing one’s talent, performance level, and character. This is not good for American government, nor the American economy.

Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.