Are we getting too shallow?

(CNN) — Think about it. How would you imagine your government? Would you get it right? Either an old, male, power-hungry dictator who uses the border wall as leverage? Or a nimble, youth-powered, feminist,…

Are we getting too shallow?

(CNN) — Think about it. How would you imagine your government?

Would you get it right?

Either an old, male, power-hungry dictator who uses the border wall as leverage? Or a nimble, youth-powered, feminist, neo-fascist revolution that brings democracy and change to the world?

Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch. But there are already plenty of radical movements being pushed by people of all genders, ages, races, backgrounds, beliefs and income levels. Women, for example, are running for the presidency and Congress with plenty of faces and voices from a wide variety of backgrounds.

The United States is making strides toward gender equality, too. In the past century, women have been appointed to some of the most influential positions in American government, from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Women comprise more than 50% of the US workforce for the first time ever, as young women enter the labor force at a faster pace than men do. They run for office, too. In 2018, more than half of the women who voted were first-time voters.

And while things are evolving quickly, many minorities are still being excluded. Minorities are the fastest-growing segment of the US population, and there are more than 52 million people of color in the country, according to 2018 census data. While more than a third of people living in this country are white, there are more than 1 billion people on the planet who identify as minority, according to the Pew Research Center.

But even if we do see a more diverse government in a few decades, how would this translate into policy decisions? There are many factors that go into making laws and regulations, which can make it difficult to know which laws are really going to make a difference, and which ones are for show.

If the next president wants to get rid of the F-35 — a stealth jet for air combat — there’s no way he or she could do it. That’s because this program, the Pentagon’s largest acquisition and production enterprise, would be very difficult to replace from scratch. It would take 20 years of serious spending, experts estimate.

Meanwhile, some experts predict that to prevent the next migration crisis, the US will need new help from other countries, namely those in Africa and Europe. Right now, many groups have learned the hard way that they can’t keep their borders shut, and some are now starting to open them up.

How can we protect ourselves from a new kind of migrant crisis? Maybe we can start by improving education in developing countries. That’s because poor people end up taking their chances with smugglers hoping to make a quick buck, or moving across borders on rickety boats at high risk.

Maybe we could work on keeping refugees from joining extremist groups. That could be done by treating the root causes of conflict and unemployment in developing countries. Even if we can’t create millions of jobs or better education, it’s only a matter of time before we need to be able to defend ourselves with a more diverse military.

And it’s not just countries on the opposite side of the globe that are subject to injustice. Every part of the globe is affected by decisions being made at a United Nations assembly. When a funding dispute in Sudan started, UN peacekeepers were forced to evacuate three humanitarian facilities near its border with South Sudan. That forced countries at war with each other to protect other governments and give aid, which could lead to one government’s troops becoming involved in another conflict, since that can be the common thread that binds them together.

What’s more, while I’m sure we all have our opinions on diversity, I truly think every human deserves a seat at the table. In politics, you can’t make big decisions about health care reform without having to talk to some white women from Wyoming. Sometimes, it’s hard to break down all these barriers. It can be discouraging to have one viewpoint dominating and privileged everywhere. But more often than not, the world is a smaller place.

Women from many different backgrounds are now getting involved in politics in more and more places. Hopefully, their paths will lead to more diversity at a higher level. But if we don’t use today’s opportunities to create a more accessible political system, we’ll end up paying the price tomorrow.

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