After an interminable slog, the US Senate has inched up to “the historic high” (!) of having 20 women Senators. Women replaced the Republithug knuckledraggers (Akin, Mourdock, Walsh) who had declared war on the concept of women as human beings. The gender gap, 12% in the 2008 election, was up to 18% this time, with unmarried women voting 78% for Democrat candidates. And just like shifts in the voting patterns of other groups, it determined the outcome of the election. I hope the re-elected president doesn’t forget this when time comes for policies and cabinet appointees.
Welcome, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Mazie Hirono, Heidi Heitcamp. Welcome, Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, Tammy Duckworth, Grace Meng. I know you will make a difference. Some of you already have.
Perhaps I will live long enough to see a woman become the President of the United States. Perhaps the newcomers will join forces with the functioning-brain veterans in Congress to try and stop the erosion of civil rights and environmental care, stop the drone strikes and preemptive wars, try to create equitable resource distribution and humane safety nets. The percentages yesterday showed how persistent the toxic miasma of ignorance and fanaticism is, but as long as people don’t silence their cortex, we may make it. We cannot afford to yield — for the sake of our planet home and all life on it.