It has been said that all humans are haunted, as we carry the ghosts of those who came before us somewhere within ourselves. If any country should know this to be true, it is the United States, for we as a nation are haunted and frequently visited by the ghosts of our past. As the Presidential election finally draws to a close, these ghosts appear before us when we finally stop to consider the magnitude of this moment, that Hillary Rodham Clinton could possibly be the first female President of the United States of America, when less than 100 years before women were denied the right to even vote in an election.
As President Barack Obama, the first African American President, calls out to the crowds for their support of the former Secretary of State, the ghost of Frederick Douglass addressing the Seneca Falls Convention for the right of women to vote echoes behind his words. Both men had their humanity questioned by their country, and yet both men continued fighting for a better tomorrow.
As women of 100 plus years of age enter their polling places to cast their vote, they remember a time in their life when such an idea was unthinkable, conjuring up images of suffragettes and the civil rights activists of yesteryear. The ghosts of Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony watch over the polls nearby, living inside every woman who dares to cast a ballot, looking on while young women do what they themselves were once beaten and bloodied for.
As Hillary Clinton shares the stage with Michelle Obama, the first African American First Lady, she tries to right the wrongs of the Suffragettes before her by acknowledging that women of color endure a sexism entwined with racism, a struggle she as the first female candidate on a major party ticket will never have to endure. She attempts to heal the wounds made long ago within the women's rights movement, wounds that never truly healed. She is proof, just as Barack Obama was before her, that the struggles of those who came before us meant something, and that their ghosts do not haunt us in vain. She is proof that the times are changing. Bigoted words that reflect the fear of such changes, that fall from the mouths of men and women alike, echo into our history just as the actions of those who fought the Suffragettes and the civil rights movement will forever echo into eternity. History will not be ignored just as change shall not be stopped. The ghosts of our past won't allow it any longer.
Yes, we are haunted but these ghosts live on to remind us of all that has been accomplished. No matter how anyone feels about Hillary Rodham Clinton, she will forever live on as an innovator for she has made her mark in history, even if she doesn't win on Tuesday night. She has placed one more crack in the glass ceiling placed over us by an antiquated patriarchal value system, reminding us that the age of man is running out of time. Although her victory will not mean the sudden end of sexism in America, just as President Obama’s election did not mean the sudden end of systemic racism, these ghosts of our past shall still smile upon us. Even if we have a long way to go, she is proof that we have come so far and no one will ever be able to take that from us. Congratulations Hillary Clinton, or as I hope to call you, Madame President.
It’s a brave new world.