1.07.2007

Growing Inclusiveness?

Columnist David Broder is right in A growing sense of inclusiveness that the victories of Nancy Pelosi and Deval Patrick (and I would add Mel Martinez, Bill Richardson and others to the list) reflect a growing inclusiveness in American society.

These are breakthroughs worth pointing out and celebrating, but let's not get carried away, Mr. Broder. America has a long way to go before white privileged men should be jumping up and down crowing about how inclusive things are.

The sad truth is that this country has a long ways to go to make things fair and truly inclusive. And it doesn't help in that mission if at every turn there are the anti-inclusiveness crowd working overtime to maintain the status quo.

Actually, in my lifetime we've had a total of 3 Latino governors--and the were elected in the Latino heavy states of Arizona and New Mexico. And with all due respect to Deval Patrick, there's been only one African American elected governor in a two-party state: Douglas Wilder in Virginia. Furthermore, there's been a grand total of 3 African American U.S. Senators. That's it! I mean, one African American governor and/or a U.S. Senator every other decade is not my idea of significant progress.

In terms of including women, the record thus far is not enviable. While a number of countries have gained (or are close to gaining) parity in for in their parliaments, the U.S. is not even on the chart. While he lists the numbers, 71 women out of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Mr. Broder prefers to believe that the boys voting for the girl is progress. And I suppose that it'll be progress as well when those very boys start showing her how they really feel about having a woman leader.

Yes, Mr Boder, Pelosi and Patrick's victories are positive developments, but please your overly enthusiastic response may come across as just a wee bit patronizing.