Mike Garcia | Identity Politics Isn’t Progressive

Mike Garcia

The U.S. Supreme Court recently made a decision that should serve as an important reminder for our nation. The High Court barred the use of race in college admissions, effectively ending affirmative action. This reaffirmed the bedrock American principle of equality under the Constitution, which notably does not include equity.

Those who oppose this decision argue that “systemic inequities” may always require discrimination by race to counter discrimination by race. This view turns the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment on its head.

Our Constitution explicitly protects equality, not equity, and for good reason.

Equality means equal treatment, unbiased competition, and impartially judged outcomes.

Equity means equal outcomes, achieved by unequal treatment, biased competition, and preferential judging. It’s a zero-sum game that requires the favored treatment of one person to mean the unfavored treatment of another.

The basis of this favored or unfavored treatment is the color of one’s skin – an explicit rejection of equality, and therefore an explicit rejection of our Constitution.

This demonstrates how far some on the ideological left are willing to go to justify their obsession with equity. And it clearly demonstrates this obsession with identity politics is regressive, not progressive.

If the ultimate goal of equity is to achieve equal outcomes, which can only be realized with a powerful central government and intrusive bureaucracy, equity is just a new brand name for the oldest program of achieving equal outcomes: Socialism. It guarantees there are no winners or losers based on merit – we all tie for last place.

The Supreme Court clearly understands this fundamental difference, and their decision reflects the spirit of America’s creed.

During my time in the Navy – when I needed to land a Super Hornet on the back of an aircraft carrier in the dead of night – the runway didn’t care about the color of my skin. The only factor relevant to mission success was my competence as a pilot.

That’s precisely how our great nation was intended to operate, and that’s in no small part why Abraham Lincoln once described us as a nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” 

I believe the future of our country demands that we reject the backward pursuit of equity and claw our way back to the values and vision embraced by Lincoln. There is still much work to be done, but ending race-based affirmative action is an important first step.

The next step needs to address issues even earlier in the process, in K-12 classrooms. We need to ensure the underfunded districts, the poorer neighborhoods, and the schools with higher percentages of minorities get the support they deserve, and that’s precisely what my Cash to Classrooms Act proposes to do – fully fund schools by prohibiting states like California from using a regressive formula called Average Daily Attendance.

Now, let’s continue putting our country back in harmony with the principle of equal treatment at the heart of America’s founding promise.

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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