The possibility of the first female executive officer in the White House was on full display on the evening of Oct. 7. An arguably much more civil debate came to our television screens between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris.
There were many memorable moments on both sides of the plexiglass, ranging from vastly different views on the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the question of abortion. Through it all came promises, interruptions and, of course, that very special fly sitting atop Pence’s head.
Using a calm, collected and strategic approach much like her opponent, Harris shone a bright light on what her own leadership style might entail. A former prosecutor and California attorney general, Harris clearly has had an impact on her community, on the state of California, and on our country as a whole.
And now, Harris represents an opportunity for Americans to consider a female vice president, a situation that has occurred only twice before.
But what does this mean for the White House?
Harris, if sworn in with presidential candidate Joe Biden, would be the first female vice president in the history of our country. Although the White House has never seen a woman among its executive staff, Harris rightfully has never shied away from making her voice heard. “I’m speaking, I’m speaking,” she repeated multiple times as Pence began to interrupt her at the debate in Utah.
As actress Uzo Adoba tweeted in reference to Harris’ reprimanding of Pence’s interruptions, “I hope every little girl heard that.”
I know I certainly heard it.
When I was 10 in 2016, just a beginner in the massive universe of politics, I can recall seeing mostly men in government positions. Even then, I was able to recognize that it was important for women to have a voice, especially in executive government. I mean, women live in the U.S., right? We pay taxes and have jobs just like any other citizen, so why haven’t we been properly represented in the executive offices?
I’m not sure if the reason why no female has ever been voted into the presidential office is coincidental or if it’s because the Americans are afraid of change. But voters have an opportunity here. Voters have a choice, a glimmer of hope, a chance to make everyone’s voices heard. This is the year and the time to make a change in the way our nation works, and I’m confident that people will begin that legacy now.
I hope the third time’s a charm. Our government runs better when everyone’s voices are heard and valued.
Perhaps this will be the year we finally diversify our leadership.