Any candidate offering themselves to lead our nation should expect harsh scrutiny, and everything seems like fair game in modern campaigns. Candidates once expected the media and voters to respect personal matters as out of bounds, but that zone of privacy shrinks smaller and smaller with each campaign—especially as candidates share more and more personal information via social media. Candidates, professional athletes, and actors who willingly pursue lucrative, prestigious, or powerful careers should spare us the crocodile tears about how they prefer the protection from criticism they enjoyed before achieving success. Still, Nikki Haley should not be criticized or praised for being an Indian-American woman running for president; the fact she was born female and to Indian immigrants is not the most important thing to know about her.
Liberals reduce Haley’s candidacy to the candidate’s gender and ethnicity—unsurprising given their obsession with identity politics. Conservatives should avoid falling into this same trap. While liberals praise themselves for supporting the precedent-breaking ascendancy of various gender, sexual, and ethnic minorities into positions of authority, their hypocrisy comes through when the minority breaking the glass ceiling evinces conservative views. Liberals denounce conservatives who reject claims of systemic bias as self-serving bigots, but direct even more intense fire at conservative minorities, whom they deem self-hating frauds who aspire to sneak into positions of privilege by betraying their groups.