I spent last week glued to my television while scanning Twitter posts as my Democratic Party nominated Hillary Rodham Clinton as our candidate for President of the United States.
She will not have an easy time ahead.
Much of America is angry with politicians and what is perceived as a government that responds to lobbyists rather than to the working middle class, and Americans are scared of the racial violence in our streets and terrorists who are threatening us here and abroad.
We are the television generation, used to having solutions to crises within 43 minutes, which is the actual running time for an hour TV drama.
Tempers are running short. A significant number of Republicans feel Donald Trump bullied his way into being their nominee. Many respected Republican Party leaders are not endorsing him, but I hear neighbors vowing to vote for him. I think they like the idea that he has no political experience, which gives them hope he will get Big Government out of their daily lives and let local government–the men and women they see at the Brookshire Brothers grocery store–divvy up the tax money and decide who gets to go into which public restroom at the county courthouse and local schools.
I understand their frustration, I really do. But I do not share their distrust.
No, Hillary Clinton will not have an easy time, but when have women in leadership ever had it easy? I can still hear my mother Lane Murray who was the first superintendent of the Texas prison school system, tell me shortly after she retired: “Do you have any idea what it’s like to know every eye is watching you, waiting for you to make a mistake?”
The question stunned me because I’d never considered the pressure she was under. Silly me.
The truth is, it takes an enormous sense of purpose to stand in the unforgiving eye of the public. It takes grit to stay the course, as we say in education. I’m proud to live in America where strong-minded women with a sense of purpose can break glass ceilings and change the way we think of leadership.
I do not know if Hillary Clinton will be our next President, but I do know this for sure: The ceiling has been shattered, and things will never be the same as before; having a female US President will not be unique in the years to come.