One of the amazing and historic things about this presidential campaign is that it’s made us blasé about how amazing and historic it’s been.
No one’s really talking anymore about the fact that the Democratic Party just nominated its first African-American candidate for president. Or that a female candidate got closer than any woman’s gotten before to securing the nomination.
Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s presidential runs are now just the new normal. Kids who saw this election play out will grow up not finding it at all remarkable that someone who’s not a white male can have a real shot at the presidency.
It’s something I thought about after watching "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?" recently, a film with Sidney Poitier, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn that was in wide release 40 years ago, in 1968.
This scene between Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier made me smile. Tracy’s daughter has just brought surprised her parents by bringing home her new fiance — an African-American doctor played by Sidney Poitier. Tracy and his wife — life-long liberals — are struggling to be OK with this news.
Tracy: Have you given any thought to the problems your children are going to have?
Poitier: Yes, and they will have some. And we’ll have the children — otherwise I don’t know what you call it, but you couldn’t call it a marriage.
Tracy: Is that the way [my daughter] feels?
Poitier: She feels that every single one of our children will be president of the United States, and that they’ll all have colorful administrations.
See the scene on YouTube here: