Last night’s speech by Hillary Clinton has resonated with me all day. Her passion flared when she spoke of her dearest issue: social justice. But she spoke eloquently on other issues dear to Americans: economic justice, jobs, inclusiveness, America’s place in the world and how we’re seen by others, leadership.
I’ve come to believe that electing a woman president in November will be more consequential to our culture than electing a man of color.
I write this as a supporter of most, though not all of what president Obama has attempted and accomplished. Although electing (and re-electing) him was a milestone in American progress, he joined a long line of men stretching back to George Washington.
November is our first chance to bring the worldview and problem solving skills of a woman into the Oval Office. Whether she were from the right or left of American politics, the mere fact is a hockey stick on a hockey stick. My geek friends will understand that; we’re seeing an exponential change upon an exponential change.
Consider how American cultural change has accelerated since the election of Barack Obama. Marriage equality was upheld by the Supreme Court. Health care was extended to another twenty million Americans, and more will surely follow. LGBT issues are on the front burner as one of the last remaining prejudices not precluded by law. Awareness of systemic racism has skyrocketed. And to borrow a line from the Hillary Clinton of 1995, “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” Or, put bluntly, keep your hands and your laws off women’s bodies.
In November we have the opportunity to take one giant further step toward the equality we inherited from our Declaration of Independence.
Perhaps I put the cart before the horse. There are three months of annoying campaign ads and speeches and grandstanding ahead of us. But I believe Americans will reject the politics of fear and once again vote for hope, progress, and inclusion this fall.
More-so than in 2008 and 2012, I’m looking forward to it. Despite my cynicism, I’m downright excited by it.