We’re not even 24 hours into the Biden presidency yet and already the stench that has been lingering over the White House for the past four years has started to lift. Donald Trump and his vile brood have been hurled back into private citizenship and Biden has already undone some of the worst parts of his predecessor’s legacy with the simple stroke of a pen.
Our new president intends to repair the damage inflicted on our once proud nation while simultaneously pursuing a bold agenda to improve the lives of everyday Americans through better wages and wider access to healthcare, reassert our role as the global leader by rebuilding our alliances, and prepare us to tackle the challenges of a changing world by confronting climate change and authoritarianism around the globe head-on.
At the same time, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will be restoring some sorely-missed dignity to a White House that has become an international laughingstock under the curation of our former reality television host leader. Decency has returned to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and we can once again take some pride in the public servants chosen to represent us to the world. One individual who seems eager to make his country proud is Douglas Emhoff, husband of Vice President Harris and the first First Gentleman our country has ever had.
Emhoff, demonstrating an admirable awareness of his responsibilities to the United States in a way that First Lady Melania Trump and Second Lady Karen Pence never did, penned a tweet today stating that he is honored to be filling his new role as the first male spouse of an American president or vice president. Importantly, he recognized that “generations of women” have served before him and “often without much accolade or acknowledgment.” Recognizing this important fact, he promises to build on their legacy.
I am honored to be the first male spouse of an American President or Vice President. But I'll always remember generations of women have served in this role before me—often without much accolade or acknowledgment. It’s their legacy of progress I will build on as Second Gentleman.
— Douglas Emhoff (@SecondGentleman) January 21, 2021
The point need not be belabored too hard, but one can’t help but be struck by how Emhoff’s intelligent, considerate approach to his new position contrasts to that of Melania Trump—a woman who did little as First Lady beyond giving lip service to fighting cyberbullying and confiding in private that she couldn’t possibly care less about the children her husband had locked in cages—and to Karen Pence, a woman who shared her husband’s craven aversion to the limelight and penchant for ignoring the worst cruelties of the Trump administration. In Emhoff we might finally find not only competence, but compassion.
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