Such screening raises some issues:
- People do not choose their own genes, so filtering job applicants based on genes would set a precedent very much like filtering based on race.
- These different gene types roughly correspond to what people call "conservatives" and "liberals", so Hayden's proposal basically means turning control of U.S. intelligence over to a political group (as in the USSR experiment with communism).
I agree that liberals have a lot more to offer outside of the NSA--in the arts and laboratories of invention, for example--so I see value in an NSA which hires mostly conservatives. The reason I support screening of NSA applicants is to maintain a minimum of diversity (i.e. diversity quotas), to ensure that it would contain minorities who would do exactly what Edward Snowden did: limit its power. For the government to hire people like Snowden is like deploying soldiers into war zones--it is necessary, despite the inevitability of personal sacrifices, civilian casualties, and unforgivable errors. Power must be challenged.
To be fair, this same argument might be levied against Snowden and the rest of the political transparency crowd. What kinds of politicians would survive political transparency? Would it be a diverse group, or would such an environment select for certain genes? I think it would select. Even if only 25% of voters care enough about authority and purity to respond to political transparency by voting against moral non-elites, that would be huge compared to modern voting margins. As it turns out, such people are conservatives, so political transparency would lead, ironically, to a screening very much like what Hayden proposed.
I suppose liberals might rally around exposed less-pure adulterers, flip-floppers, and compromisers, but representation for the immoral majority is not a viable platform. Any real political transparency would have to show that anyone supporting such a candidate is really just trying to hide their own corruption. Thus, political transparency would accomplish the same result as requiring genetic tests to qualify for elected office, or to vote.
Exclusive election of conservatives does not need to entail discrimination, however. Modern conservatives do not support withholding the vote by race or gender. If they likewise accepted the theory of moral ecology (i.e. that society benefits from diverse approaches to morality), then elected leaders would hire employees with diverse genes (e.g. both conservative and liberal), and would involve them in decision-making such that society would be protected from the problems of a purely-conservative government.
I think the question of whether political transparency would destroy our nation is a lot like the question of whether the invention of tools will destroy our planet. Tools make humanity the dominant species on Earth, and whether that will destroy our planet or not will depend upon whether we recognize the value of other species. By "recognize" I don't mean something as trivial as publishing scientific evidence and blog articles, I mean being willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of diversity. That is far more difficult, but it is a possible social reform.