Michael Steele: Diversity in the RNC
I believe that if the RNC wanted to continue down the path that they have been going, they easily could have. There was no compelling reason that the voting members had to select a black chairman. While keeping a white man would have been viewed by many as keeping the party status quo, I do not believe that there would have been as much of an outcry against it. In fact I believe that by selecting a black chairman, the RNC has stepped out in a huge way, making it known to conservative people of color that the time to hear their voices is now.
Picking a moderate conservative is also a huge move for the RNC. Many had debated since the election about the path that the Republican Party should choose to go. Some people wanted the party to go back to the conservative roots, thereby resulting in people of color feeling increasingly marginalized. Others wanted the party to embrace a more inclusionary policy. Steele has been associated with the Republican Leadership Council, which is an organization that strives to create "a Republican Party that is unified by the basic tenets of fiscal responsibility and personal freedom, but that allows for diverse opinions on social issues by its members." Clearly he is on the outside of the traditional Republican party member. In fact he was not even a member of the Republican National Committee prior to being elected.
Undeniably picking Steele is huge for diversity. While liberal people will play the "token negro" card, I for one will give Steele the chance that he has earned to see what changes he can make as RNC Chairman. Unlike Rush Limbaugh who wished for Obama's failure, I will not wish the same for Steele. It is important as Americans that there is more than a one-party government. I wish Steele the best, and hope that everyone else takes a moment to wish him the same. I also hope that people take a moment and recognize the significance of the election of the first person of color to lead a major political party.