Diversity: showing a great deal of variety; (of two or more things) markedly different from one another.
The above definition is about as broad as the number of polling statistics and figures that indicate many trends within US Government. Upon doing some research for an earlier project this semester, I found some interesting information: voter participation in Presidential elections differed between genders and parties; more women than men voted out of the people voting for Obama in the 2008 election while more men than women voted out of those who chose McCain (according to the Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics). As this may be indicative of how the sexes identify with ideals of certain parties, the gap might also suggest a gap between the political ideals of men and women on the whole. I know, this (like the definition of diversity) is a very broad, sweeping statement. However, when you think about the basic psychological nature of men and women (men thinking in more immediate terms, built for confrontation while women are generally more nurturing and don’t separate personal experience from problems), this might make sense. Now I’m not going to get into a giant debate on psychology, but my question is, is there a right way? Men’s ideals v. women’s ideals? Where do we find the balance between the ever-changing relationship between the ideals of men and women.
Additionally, this year I’ve been taking AP Human Geography (no, I do not study the physical distribution of the human body). While we study trends all around the world, our focus on the United States has opened my naïve peepers to the effects of population distribution on politics. Cycles begin forming as circumstances change. For example, as economic times continue to make just living difficult, people begin moving to more affordable places to live. As seen in the Apportionment map below, Texas, (a notorious “Red” state) has gained four seats in the House of Representatives from population growth alone (and I’m pretty sure that population growth isn’t just from Texans having a whole lot of babies). Similarly, apportionment within states as well as cities and municipalities may skew the representation of minorities in local and large-scale government.
So readers, this is my first challenge to you: what do you think? Given the current state of diversity in politics (you can find some more facts about women in government here: http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/index.php), where do we go from here? How do we allow for the just, accurate representation of minorities in government? How do we do so and maintain a stable, formidable system? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!