This morning, Tuesday the 8th of November, is Election Day. I will share nothing of the importance of voting. I won’t implore you to go fulfill your civic duty. I won’t plead and bargain about exercising your right to democracy.
Polls in Massachusetts opened at 7 a.m. When I woke up this morning, as with most Tuesdays, the plan is to get our children up, feed them, and then put clothes on their bodies. My wife leaves to teach then, around 7:40, I leave to bring our daughter to school for the morning.
Today was different.
Shortly before 7 a.m., my wife loaded our daughter up in our car in order to go vote. She wanted our daughter to be a part of history. She wanted to take our two year old to the polls and participate in casting a vote for the candidate of her choice. This made me beam with pride.
For over 200 years, we’ve voted men into the highest office in the world. This might change today. You can disagree with her politics. You can disagree with her tactics or her demeanor or challenge her policies. You can cite missteps in her political decisions. You can vote for her opponent(s). That’s okay.
What’s important about the election today is that there’s a chance for young women all over the country to see what their ceiling has become in our country. They can become President of the United States. That’s important. It’s important to all the women who’ve been left out of the democratic process throughout history here and across the world.
It’s important, also, to men and little boys in this country as well: Their perspectives won’t have to change. They will have a different starting point.
I hope that the past eight years have helped the above as well. For the traditionally ostracized outsiders — the women, the people of color — to see a new reality, to live in a place where their potential is Easter mornings on the South Lawn, that’s amazing to me. And it should be to you, regardless of political stances.
And at the very end of today, I hope we can all root for the same thing. Whoever wins, we hope they succeed. We hope they do the job we elected them to do: Keep our families happy and prosperous; Afford people of all backgrounds the right to marry and vote and go to good schools; Make our country a welcoming place for everyone.
(A day after edit: Please let’s do the above.)
When I voted this morning, I took my son. He’s 7-months old. Even by the end of our next president’s four-year term, he won’t be able to tell you much about that person’s politics. His interests won’t align with theirs. But, hopefully, he’ll be able to see this person on TV from time-to-time or see this person on the walls of school classrooms, and not have to think, “Wow, we elected a woman!” in a surprising tone. It’ll just be what he’s known his entire life.