New $20 bill will honor nation’s diversity, history
The Treasury Department’s plan to update U.S. currency by adding portraits of abolitionists, suffragists and civil rights leaders is a long-overdue effort to honor America’s diversity and highlight neglected chapters of our history.
However, because instant outrage is now the way we deal with most things in America, a battle over the currency could be the next chapter in our culture wars. Conservative commentators have been outraged by the “political correctness” of the portrait list, and I expect an alternate slate of right-wing fan favorites to appear sometime soon. Anybody for Ayn Rand? J. Edgar Hoover? Antonin Scalia?
Perhaps we’ll wind up revising the currency after each election cycle. That could happen sooner than one might think, since the likely Republican nominee for president has shown a compulsive need to put his name and image on everything he touches. If he were elected, we might soon be spending “Donalds” instead of “dollars” and eyeballing the man’s smiling face on every currency denomination.
I suppose we could avoid endless battles by putting noncontroversial pictures on our banknotes. Cats, for example. According to the Internet, everybody loves cats. Or maybe polar bears. They won’t be around much longer, so now would be a good time.
Oops, I’ve blundered into the climate change debate. Outrage to follow.