Hawaii and Wisconsin: political trailblazers

December 12, 2012 — by Helen Wong

America is taking a step in the right direction.

America is taking a step in the right direction. The U.S. has always been branded as “the land of the free,” and now it’s beginning to fully live up to its reputation, something it’s often failed to do in the past.

It took a civil war that cost more lives than both World Wars put together to abolish slavery. And then, pray tell, how many female presidents has America had? Meanwhile, many countries, such as India, Brazil and Germany, have female leaders.

The U.S. is very far behind, but now there’s change happening. Hawaii elected its first woman representative to the Senate, Mazie Hirono. She’s Japanese-American, to boot.

“I bring quadruple diversity to the Senate,” Hirono said. “I’m a woman. I’ll be the first Asian woman ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate. I am an immigrant. I am a Buddhist. When I said this at one of my gatherings, they said, ‘Yes, but are you gay?’ and I said, ‘Nobody’s perfect.’”

It’s nice to know that the Senate is no longer lacking in an Asian-American female representative. It’s also nice to know that the gender-biased glass ceiling is finally starting to show cracks of stress.

The so-called “glass ceiling” is a name for the invisible barrier women must fight against in the U.S. According to Forbes, on average, men with bachelor’s degrees earn 40 percent more than women with similar education levels.

America, as a democratic country, with freedom and rights for all citizens, owes it to the female population to make things equal. As a point of interest, the Republican Party hasn’t done so well because of a certain alienating stance on women’s rights — namely, abortion and “legitimate” rape.

And then, another modern-day issue in politics is gay rights. This is America. Everyone should be treated equally regardless of their sexuality.
Wisconsin elected the first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, who is also a woman.

In the past, America has been notoriously biased against gays. But now, the fact that an entire state has been willing to accept a gay person as a representative shows progress toward the American ideal of equality and freedom for all.

The 2012 election broke barriers. It made the U.S. that much more equal and that much more American.

Most people who grew up in the U.S. have recited the Pledge of Allegiance at some point.

We pledged our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

It’s time for the new generation of young Americans to make good on their word.

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