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[OPINION] VP Affirmative Action is Political Pandering, Stop It

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Former Vice President Joe Biden is preparing to announce his Vice Presidential running mate, and she might not be his first pick.

During the primary debate with Bernie Sanders, Biden announced on national television his pledge to only consider women candidates for Vice President. Sanders quickly jumped in saying he would pick a female VP “in all likelihood.”

At first, I was excited. The idea of the first female Vice President and potentially President would be such a milestone in American history. I just hope it’s not by way of Affirmative Action.

I am convinced that what every American wants, regardless of race, religion, or gender, is equality. Everybody wants to be treated equally under the law, by other people, and by our institutions.

This is a sentiment many Americans share at heart, but not in policy.

Here is the definition of Affirmative Action according to Oxford Languages:

The practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups known to have been discriminated against previously.

Since when does “favoritism” promote equality? Affirmative Action exists in schools, in businesses, in institutions, and now in VP picks.

As a Hispanic, I personally find it offensive that anyone, let alone institutions, would show me favoritism simply because of my ethnicity. Whether that be for school, for jobs, or for anything else. In my mind, that diminishes me as a person to nothing more than a Spanish name and tan skin.

To me, all that matters is experience, qualification, work ethic, and potential. I couldn’t care less what your race, age, or gender is. If you can get the job done and do it well, you deserve it.

I don’t view myself as primarily Hispanic, I view myself as fully American. I respect and honor my family and ancestry, but my culture, my world-view, my allegiance, is American. If we really want to heal our nation from our divisions, maybe we need to remember that we are not in totality our races and our genders. You are not Black and White, you are American.

I won’t go into the debate over Affirmative Action in colleges, which I think had a justifiable start but has continued for too long. Instead, I want to focus on Joe Biden’s pledges to only pick a female VP and an African American woman Supreme Court Justice.

First, concerning Vice President.

This is the biggest decision any presidential nominee has to make in his entire tenure as President. This is your right hand person, the next biggest figure head of the nation, your immediate successor. There has to be intense thought and deliberation into this decision.

If our goal is to have the most qualified, experienced, and best person for the job, then wouldn’t it be wise to keep every candidate on the table?

Here’s what happened. Joe Biden’s campaign staff came up to him and said, “Joe, if you want to have a shot of winning, you need to pick a woman for VP, preferably of color, to help grab more votes in key districts.”

Biden started off his VP search by scrapping half the table away.

Now I want to make a BIG clarification. I 100% believe that there are many incredibly talented, qualified, and experienced women that would make excellent Vice Presidents and Presidents. I’m also not saying that several of the women on Biden’s list wouldn’t make suitable leaders. My problem is in the method. As soon as Biden said he was going to ignore every male candidate on the basis of sex (which is, by the way, a form of discrimination), he lost the integrity of his decision.

The balance has been shifted to favor one group over another. What happened to equality?

And Biden wants to do the same thing for the Supreme Court, pledging to only consider African American women. How is this fair and equal? Yes, there are plenty of African American women who would be great justices, but not if they’re only selected because of their biology.

Biden thinks that worth comes from skin color and anatomy, instead of values, experience, and motivation. He’s willing to show clear favoritism in decisions that should be equal minded and fair in an attempt to win over votes. This is Political Pandering 101.

I look forward to the day we as a nation embrace our first female Vice President and President. Candidates chosen by the people because of their values and their vision, not because of their biology or political pandering. That’s the day we’ll see true equality in America.

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Marcos Barrios is a Florida National News contributing writer. The avid writer and musician is passionate about politics and entertainment in Florida and abroad.

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