Thursday, November 15, 2018

Different faces

Yesterday, I shared Robert Reich’s post (above) on the AmeriNZ Facebook Page. All I said about it was, “The difference is pretty stark when you see it all laid out like that…” and that was all I intended to say about it, and I wasn’t going to share it here. But as a result of my Facebook share, I think it’s important to reiterate a few points so that they’re within the context of things I’ve talked about on this blog.

I said in a reply to a comment on that: “The Democrats look more like America”, because it does. Today I heard some American TV hosts saying the same thing, which I was happy to see. I’m such a trendsetter, right? Well, it could be it’s so bloody obvious that even I saw it.

I talked about the increased diversity brought about by the Democrats in a post on Saturday, and I even talked about it in a post the day before. The truth is, there’s even more that could be said.

My deeply held belief is that diversity is good, and monoculture is not. For electoral politics, that means electing more women, more young people, more people of colour, more people of diverse backgrounds, more people with diversity of religious belief (minority or none at all). US legislatures of all kinds ought to look like America, not the privileged elites who have always held power.

Each of the specific segments of society bring different things to the table, from viewpoints, to backgrounds and experiences, and priorities. This is good for democracy, not just because people see themselves represented, but also because it helps them create laws that benefit everyone, not just the few.

The USA is still a long way from achieving a diverse democracy, and there will be a lot of resistence along the way. But as people formerly ignored demand to be listened to, the drive for diversity won’t go away, and the fight will continue. As it should. Frederick Douglass knew as much: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will,” and he knew it’s “born of earnest struggle.”

The USA is far more likely to get there than it seemed a few short weeks ago, and while it could all still be taken away, the pace of change could also pick up speed. Don’t bet against diversity. Look again at those varied faces in the newly-elected Democrats. They don’t look likely to accept anything less than moving forward. They shouldn’t—they look like America.

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