Hillary Clinton wasn’t on the ballot this election, but her influence was. Across the country, in large states and small, women followed. She wasn’t on the stage breaking a glass ceiling this time, but the cracks she’d already made allowed those who followed her to shatter what remained.
Look at the firsts in Congress. The first Muslim women. The youngest woman. The first Native American women. First black woman from Massachusetts. First women from Iowa.
My excitement at these firsts is tempered more than a bit by the inner voice saying, Geez. What took so long? What took the voters of the United States so long to start electing a Congress that looks more like the electorate?
Without dwelling too much on the past, let’s look toward the future. A future, I can hope, in which candidates for any office will be judged by their qualifications, their positions on major issues, their training and education, and not their gender, race, or any other artificially limiting category.
And with every step we take to integrate our government, we’ll feel it. Hillary’s legacy. She won’t be on the ballot, but the challenges she faced and the trails she blazed will always be there, making the way for the women that follow.