Aug 11, 2020
For most of my life, candidates on major party presidential tickets tended to look like, and had similar backgrounds to, Joe Biden. It was so unremarkable that it was hard to imagine anything different. No one looked like or had the background of Kamala Harris, not by a long shot. That may go without saying, but it deserves to be said. Boy does it ever.
Ours is a representative government, but for too long in America our leadership wasn't representative of the people as a whole. Not in gender or race. But here's the thing about representation, once walls of the status quo are broken, the imagination of the electorate changes.
Let's take the Senate. It still is in many ways an "Old Boys Club" and one that has about as much racial diversity as a mid-20th Century country club. But there was a time, not that long ago, when that was essentially all that it was. In recent years, that has changed considerably. And now the idea of a woman senator, from either party, seems a natural state of affairs. We sadly have further to go with Black senators. That is not to say that women still don't face many, many more hurdles than men. They do. But with each woman elected to office, as with governors, mayors, and state representatives, the idea of a "typical" political leader begins to change. And it's easier for those who follow.
So representation matters, and it's not just politics. In oc