And then there is the "can we handle a woman president?" nonsense. Britain did quite fine with Margaret Thatcher as prime minister, quite a few years ago. And although Nancy Pelosi is the first woman Speaker of the House, she is far from the first American woman to hold a prominent position. One of the silliest things President Bush ever did was play gender politics with the Supreme Court: He lowered standards to try to fill what he obviously considered the "woman's seat" Sandra Day O'Connor was retiring from with another woman, regardless of her qualifications. We're better than that . . . aren't we?
Now there is the brand-new question "Can a Mormon be president?," raised by pundits concerning the potential candidacy of outgoing Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Will Evangelicals vote for someone they consider unChristian? Will Americans be freaked out by previously unpublicized customs and beliefs? There may be more Catholics around than Mormons, but didn't we get over this kinda thing, say, four decades ago?
In other words: How about "May the best man or woman win"?
Or, to borrow a phrase or two: "When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
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