Our Government Must Reflect Us

Marcellus Martin


With over 81 million votes cast for Joe Biden, he has received the most votes cast in any U.S. election. But Kamala Harris, who was also on the ballot with Biden, received those votes, also. Outside of the 2020 election, the 2008 and the 2012 presidential elections broke election records, and those votes went to the first and only Black president in U.S. history, Barack Obama. 

We always hear that there could be a wave of red or blue coming, but I can’t entirely agree. There is indeed a wave coming, but it is not red or blue. It is a colorful wave that includes every diverse group in America. It is about time.

In the last two decades, the face of politics has drastically changed, and most diverse groups have seen significant representation in our government. In 2001, Colin Powell was confirmed to be Secretary of State, making him the first African American to hold the office and making him the highest-ranking African American in the history of the United States. In 2008, Jared Polis became the first member of Congress to be a same-sex parent, opening up the doors for Tammy Baldwin to be the first openly LGBT+ member to be elected to the United States Senate and for Barney Frank to become the first Congress member to marry someone of the same sex while they remained in office. 

But the growing wave of diversified politicians did not stop there. Instead, it got better. Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain completely shattered and set ablaze the precedent set by former presidents. The Commander in Chief was now a Black man, meaning that the highest office of the land could now be assumed by anyone other than a white older man.

This was a catalyst. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination, becoming the first woman to be a significant U.S. party candidate.

And although Secretary Clinton did not win, she not only opened the door for women but she completely kicked it down,too. In the 117th Congress, women make up over a quarter of the total number of House members – the highest it’s ever been in the history of Congress. 

Not to mention, in the 2020 election, a record-breaking number of women ran for Congress, the Senate, and even the presidency. 

Women became such big players in the 2020 election that the two leading Democratic candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, pledged to choose a woman as their vice president. Not too long after being declared the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden selected Sen.Kamala Harris to be his vice president. This is just the beginning of Joe Biden’s extremely diverse White House.

Biden’s promise of “Leaders who represent America” has been kept. His cabinet is the most diversified in the history of the United States. 

His week-old administration shattered another barrier. Biden’s pick of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sets him as the first Latino to serve as Health and Human Services secretary. 

The choice of former House Rep. Deb Haaland to lead the Department of Interior, the department that oversees the United States government relationship with indigenous groups, would be monumental. She would  be the first Native American to be a cabinet secretary. The confirmation of Lloyd Austin, a retired Army General, would make him the first Black secretary of defense. 

The confirmation of Janet Yellen is another example of Joe Biden’s promise to integrate women into our government’s highest echelons. She will be the first female secretary of treasury in the history of the department  as well as being the second oldest in the cabinet. Alongside these historic picks, Pete Buttigieg is set to become transportation secretary, making him the first openly gay and married person to become a cabinet secretary. 

In a time where immigration and the status of millions of illegal immigrants are such widely debated topics, Joe Biden tapped Alejandro Mayorkas to head the Department of Homeland Security, making him the first Latino and immigrant to hold the position. This one is specifically unique given that Homeland Security is the department tasked with immigration in the United States.

 Finally, in a move that has never been seen in our country’s history, Joe Biden has picked Rachel Levine to be undersecretary of Health and Human Services. This would make her the first transgender person to hold a federal office and be confirmed by the Senate.

These are just a few of President Biden’s monumental picks, but of course, these choices have faced significant backlash. Many people see these picks and criticize Biden because they believe he chose unqualified people based on their demographics. 

But that’s just the point Biden is trying to prove. Because someone is Hispanic, Black, gay, transgender, a woman, etc., that doesn’t make them any less qualified. When Trump chose Betsy Devos, Ben Carson, and Rex Tillerson for the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, and State, respectively, there was minimal backlash despite them having zero background in any of their departments. 

America is more diverse now than it has ever been in the history of its existence. If our government is really to serve us, then our government must reflect us.

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