A ways back I saw something in a blog post on the PJ Tatler by Dr. Helen Smith which just about sent me around the bend.

This guy named Daniel Hamermesh, author of a new book, Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful, thinks we should expand the Americans with Disabilities Act to include ugly people. In an article in the New York Times, he says:

“Beauty is as much an issue for men as for women. While extensive research shows that women’s looks have bigger impacts in the market for mates, another large group of studies demonstrates that men’s looks have bigger impacts on the job.

“Why this disparate treatment of looks in so many areas of life? It’s a matter of simple prejudice….

“A more radical solution may be needed: why not offer legal protections to the ugly, as we do with racial, ethnic and religious minorities, women and handicapped individuals?

We actually already do offer such protections in a few places, including in some jurisdictions in California, and in the District of Columbia, where discriminatory treatment based on looks in hiring, promotions, housing and other areas is prohibited. Ugliness could be protected generally in the United States by small extensions of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Ugly people could be allowed to seek help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other agencies in overcoming the effects of discrimination. We could even have affirmative-action programs for the ugly.”

That set me off on quite the rant.

“First off, can someone please define ugly for me?,” I bellowed. “I mean, in my humble opinion, Lyle Lovett is one profoundly ugly man, but he was married to Julia Roberts for a time. So how do we define ugly?”

Look, this is about as stupid as it gets, and expanding the ADA to cover something as subjective as looks? Seriously?

I knew the “intellectual” elites were stupid but this is beyond the pale.

Folks, I’ve known since I was a kid that life ain’t fair. Good looks and competence will get you farther than competence alone. Sometimes pretty people get jobs they’re not competent for because of their looks.

Take a Hollywood for example. Hollywood is all about looks. There are some actors who are immensely talented but will never have a leading role because they are, well, butt ugly. Meanwhile pretty boys like Tom Cruise and Ben Afleck, neither of whom can act their way out of a paper sack, are leading men.

Adele, who has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard had a rough time breaking in because she’s, well, zaftig.

Good lord thanks to Obamacare we’ve already got the government in the middle of our personal lives do we really need bureaucrats deciding who gets preferential treatment because they look like they fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down?

And is anyone really surprised an East Coast, Liberal Academic is suggesting the way to fix a perceived problem is to create a new class of “victim” and then have the government step in to “protect” them?

Look, we’ve all had to work with someone who got their job because they looked good or they had snappy patter that convinced the boss to hire them and then you find out they can’t do the job. Sooner or later those people get found out, fired, and then move on to be someone else’s problem. In the end, competence counts for more than looks in most jobs. We do not need another “protected class” in this country. We already have too many of them.

And that’s really the issue here. Liberals have to create more “victims” to be “protected” as a way to ever increasing power, until we’re all under their “benevolent protection.”

Conservatives see it a bit differently. We tend to have the same philosophy as no less a light than Clarence Thomas. No one -- whatever their race, creed, sexual orientation, whatever -- should be granted special treatment. At the same time, everyone should be equal before the law. If you got fired because you’re black, you should have recourse under the law. Likewise if you got fired for being white.

There should be no race or sex questions on applications for things like scholarships, period. Whoever is most qualified should get the slot.

In truth, the ones who always seem to divide people up by things like race or gender are liberals. Conservatives only care if you can do the job. If you can, great, if you can’t move along. Which is what Martin Luther King Jr. was after -- a completely colorblind society where content of character is what’s important.

Are we ever going to completely get there? No, the world is full of idiots and we all have our prejudices, try to eradicate them how we may.

But conservatives are at least trying, rather than dicing us up and moving us all into smaller and smaller boxes of race, color, sexual orientation or whatever.

Time to burn the boxes and be “people.”

(Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Cherokee County News-Advocate. He can be emailed at pat.richardson@sekvoice.com.)