If Tuesday’s election exemplified anything more than a mandate on Obama’s time as POTUS, it’s that America is a very different place now than ever before in history. We have always prided ourselves on diversity, and now our political system is beginning to reflect that belief - a record number of women now sit in congress, minorities are an ever growing electorate, and open LGBT politicians are now in office. Oh, and a cat took third place in the VA senate race.
If you haven’t heard of Hank for Senate by now, you’ve probably been living under a litter box.
Hank has been running for Senate since last winter, originally to poke fun of our modern election process. He mostly ran on a platform of job creation and change, but also for increased support to animal shelters (he cited raising over $15,000 for animal rescue groups in his HuffPo blog back in October). Hank has even had to deal with negative campaign ads from a pro-dog super PAC.
Hank, a write-in candidate, garnered over 6,000 votes this past Tuesday putting him in third place behind Democrat Timothy Kaine and Republican George Allen. This is an extraordinary accomplishment for a cat, but let’s look at what else happened on election night:
The 113th Congress will have 20 women, the most ever in U.S history.
Tammy Baldwin was elected as the first openly gay Senator and Rep. Mark Ferrandino is Colorado’s first gay House speaker.
Women outvoted Men 64% to 54%. Hispanic votes increased this year, making up 10% of the electorate, while African-Americans made up 13%. Losing white voters, Obama was still able to sweep the electoral votes by rallying these smaller demographics.
America is changing, there’s no doubt about that. As the face of this country changes, so will the people representing it. Our leaders are bringing new and diverse perspectives because we are a new and diverse people. Hank may just be a cat, but he’s more than that - he’s different, and so are we.