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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Progress, and what I won’t miss

<ir="ltr">The United States has made a lot of progress on social issues in recent years. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2011, we are moving toward universal health coverage, and last year same-sex marriage was legalized for the entire country. We have come a long way, but there is still much to do, and I hope that some of the following changes will be realized in my lifetime.

I hope that someday very soon, Americans will realize that transgender people are just people, who deserve to have their rights protected just as much as any other citizens of this country and who have been using the stall next to them since the dawn of public restrooms.

I am optimistic that, in time, attacks on women’s health care will fall to a faint whisper and that women will be able to make decisions about their bodies for themselves without fear of societal backlash.

I believe that we are capable of ending mass incarceration and police brutality by and large. It will take time, and it will take creative solutions, some of which are already underway with recent bipartisan efforts, but it will happen.

I am hopeful that one day, teachers will stop being the go-to targets of conservative tirades against government spending. I think that in time, K-12 teachers will stop being viewed so much as caretakers and more as the skilled professionals they are, and that they will be compensated accordingly.

We have it in us to dramatically reduce the gun violence that plagues our communities. Other countries have near-zero rates of mass shootings, and we are fully capable of moving in that direction.

I believe that we are capable of achieving gender and racial balance in our national and state leadership that more accurately reflects the changing demographics of this country and its priorities.

I think we will achieve the more representative representation mentioned above when people in this country stop trying to make it harder for their fellow citizens to vote. Remarkable progress has already been made with respect to this issue in states like Oregon and California, where all eligible voters are automatically registered unless they opt out. More states will follow suit in time.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. I realize there are many more social policy issues that need to be worked out in the next several decades, and inevitably, there are issues policymakers have yet to consider that will arise in the coming years. As flawed as our political system is, I am heartened by the determination and ingenuity of my peers. I see immense promise for social progress in my lifetime, and I can’t wait to see which issues will soon become a thing of the past.

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