Here’s the arrogance: The Treasury Department is downgrading Hamilton, without whom there might not be a United States currency, just because they yearn to check a “diversity” box, and without consulting the American people. Hamilton was a poor kid from the West Indies who immigrated to New York, joined the patriot army at age 17 or 18 and organized an artillery company, became an aide to Gen. George Washington, authored more than half of the Federalist Papers, and served as the first treasury secretary of the United States, where he structured the finances of our infant republic so that we didn’t drown in debt. He was also a fierce opponent of slavery.
Hamilton deserves far more than a place on the $10 bill — and he certainly deserves no less.
Finally, ignorance. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen gushes that putting a female on the $10 will tell “young girls across this country … that they, too, can grow up and do something great for their country.” This is tiresome. Girls and women are doing great in America. Girls graduate from high school at higher rates than boys. They attend and graduate from college at significantly higher rates. U.S. Census Bureau data show that in 2012, 71 percent of female high school graduates went on to college, compared to 61 percent of young men. While men’s wages have stagnated for three decades, women’s have been rising. Women outnumber men in the workforce, even in professional, managerial and technical occupations. (Source: “Wayward Sons” a Third Way report.)
Here’s the solution: Upgrade the security features on the $10, but keep Hamilton in his spot. Dump Jackson from the $20 and hold an essay competition among American high school seniors for his replacement. It would be a great exercise in the appreciation of excellence. Both sexes may be nominated. There are many American women who could be chosen: Emily Dickinson, Harriet Tubman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Susan B. Anthony? But by announcing in advance that you’re choosing a woman, you’ve guaranteed that the honor will be downgraded to the “best woman” rather than the best candidate. In short, you’d be echoing the Hillary Clinton campaign.