Friday, June 10, 2016

An Exciting Time to Be an American

For the first time in our nation's history, a woman is a major political party's presumptive nominee for President of the United States. Whatever your feelings about Hillary Rodham Clinton, this moment is undeniably historic.

But Clinton is not the only person changing the history books. Bernie Sanders, her opponent in the Democratic Party’s nominating contest, is the first Jewish-American and democratic socialist to win even one primary. His victories in over 20 states are an epic achievement in its own right. And, of course, both of these distinctions follow the barrier-breaking presidency of the country’s first black president, Barack Hussein Obama.

As the country moves closer to embodying its ideals of diversity, equality, and opportunity for all, there has never been a more exciting time to be an American

It is true that many of today’s most urgent social challenges remain unresolved. Mr. Obama's presidency has done little to quash racism; the achievement of marriage equality has reinforced discriminatory laws directed against gay and transgendered people; and we face the worst income inequality since the founding of the republic.

But despite the problems we need to solve, this election is a symbol of hope. A decade ago, though sadly just as important and ever-present, racism was not in quite as stark a national spotlight as it is now; transgender issues were not much discussed either; marriage equality seemed like only a dream; and tax cuts flowed to the wealthy without check. Today, thanks in part to some historic candidates who have been moved to act by the outcries of the people, these issues, though highly contentious, are receiving the attention and forward-moving work that they deserve.

Present history is leading toward a brighter future.