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Progression or Suppression: Will a More Diverse Cabinet Really Change America?

Promises. Politicians love to make them. The new president-elect, Joe Biden, made a promise during his campaign that he would have a diverse cabinet if he was voted in. Now that he is in, he is indeed living up to those promises. With black people and women serving in positions of cabinet that never have before, there are certainly new standards being set and things are changing for the better. Cosmetically anyway.

To simply brush over the incredible step of more positions being filled by women and minorities would be ridiculous. Incredible steps, for example, like making the Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, this makes her the first ever woman to be in this position. Lloyd Austin has also been made the first African American to be the Secretary of Defense. Another major decision made by Biden was appointing Kamala Harris to be his vice-president. She's the first ever Black and South Asian woman to be elected in this position. But this diversity cannot be wasted. It’s so important to have a diverse cabinet in order for minorities to be represented in a country which, in the past, has been in the hands of high society and politicians that are out of touch with the American people.

Now that there is more diversity being put in place it is the time to start using it. Politicians like Bernie Sanders have been saying for years that a political revolution is needed. Sanders’ idea of a political revolution is for the Democratic Party to have a perspective that’s from the left on economic, social and environmental issues. He also thinks that for change to be made it needs to come from the American people rather than coming from inside Washington. Sanders certainly has the formula down but is it actually possible for it to be carried out? Barack Obama, during his 2012 presidential campaign said, “you can’t change Washington just from the inside, you change it from the outside”. Obama said similar things during his campaign for the 2008 election and ended up playing an inside game anyway. Sanders seems to be more persistent. He also speaks more specifically about the changes he'd make and how he'd make them. But Sanders isn't the new president-elect, Joe Biden is. And he has so much opportunity and potential in the future of his presidency.

With Trump gone, he's left us a disastrous pandemic and civil unrest with the horrific murder of George Floyd. Joe Biden has a lot on his plate. To return to usual would be a catastrophe. Americans need someone dignified, respectful but most importantly someone who is actually going to make a difference. In order to make a difference, the new, supposedly progressive cabinet need to start taking progressive action and start representing and making decisions for minorities and people whose voices are so often shut down and drowned out. People need to remember that just because someone is a woman, does not mean they do not still hold the same ideals as their old-fashioned counterparts. This is the idea of suppression, to just say that the cabinet is diverse but to do nothing with it. Brushing all the tired voices of those who need help under the rug and to say, ‘here’s a Black woman in cabinet’. It truly means a lot to see minorities in positions of power, but all the meaning fades into nothing when you're left with no results and you still haven't been stood up for.

So of course, only time will tell if this diverse cabinet will really push America forward or if it’s just a gimmick to distract us from the lack of progress that will be made. Just now a political revolution isn't exactly expected, since after an extremely chaotic four years with Trump, America just now could use a thorough repair. Then, when it’s ready, maybe someone will lead America into a political revolution for the better.

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1 Comment

Eileen Burns
Eileen Burns
Jul 28, 2021

Thought provoking!

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