GOOD MORNING: History being made this month

By Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

For many, many years, little American children have been told that they could grow to be anything they want to be if only they would work hard enough. 

Of course, there are many American children for whom that statement is little more than a pipe dream. A number of life's circumstances stack up against them to block them from their dreams no matter how hard they work.

This month, I am looking forward to watching history be made when Kamala Harris is sworn in as this country's first woman vice president. I know this might not be a popular opinion in these parts, but I am going to say it anyway — this step has taken a long time, too long a time, to come and it should be celebrated by anyone who loves and supports women.

Harris might not be everyone's choice for the most perfect politician, but she is a woman and the fact that she has risen to this role proves that other women can do so as well and that means little girls can realistically dream that they might someday grow up to be a vice president.

Maybe someday soon, we will have a woman president and then young girls can reach for that dream too. 

Women have been leaders in other countries for as long as people have been keeping records and I can't really fathom why it has taken this country this long to get on this band wagon. We make up nearly half the population of this country and there is no reason it should have taken this long for one of us to be elected to one of the two highest leadership roles in this country.

Harris' political party affiliation has nothing to do with the pride I will feel watching her being sworn in. I would be just as proud no matter which party she supported. I am excited that a woman's voice will be heard in the particular way that a vice president's voice is heard in Washington D.C. but I hope that when she speaks about issues of importance to this country that she speaks not just for women, but for everyone. I hope that she listens to the opinions of people from all of the political parties and from every section of this country. And I hope she figures all of those people into whatever decisions she gets to make and to put those opinions forward in the discussions when she is not the person who gets to make the decisions. 

I feel like finally, we, the other half of this country, will have someone there who can really know what it is like to be a woman in this country. I feel that because even the most supportive man who in his heart of hearts wants to look out for the women and girls in this country, has never been one. And unless someone has walked in pointed high heel shoes or refused to walk in them and faced the consequences, then they just really can't know what it is like. 

Of course, she can't really know what it is like to be a man in America either, But it seems to me we have had that experience represented fairly well for all of these years. I am not looking for Harris to radically change things for women. That kind of change takes time, but at least when the ideas of change are being spoken about in the highest levels of our government, someone way up high will finally have an insider's point of view to bring to the conversation.  

Happy birthday to Gwen Phea of Sherman. Happy anniversary to Winndell and Lynnette Walters of Allen, 33 years;