Hallelujah! A record 42 women will be sworn into the US Congress today. That is something to celebrate.
Congress needs all the help it can get to overcome the partisanship and the log jams that have been created. Log jams that are delaying the business of the people and taking a toll on Americans in significant ways. The current government shutdown is an example of the kind of harm that should be avoided at all costs, and it should not be supported by any elected officials. Essential government workers continue to serve the people without pay — living up to their obligations while the government is not.
So, let’s hope that the women in Congress can make a difference. That remains to be seen, but we do know this. Those women will bring the same excellent skills to the function of governing that women bring to the business of law. Skills like: A willingness to compromise when it is necessary; excellent soft skills that enhance communication outcomes; an ability to negotiate skillfully and effectively on behalf of others; and empathy and compassion for the less fortunate. These skills have been missing in Congress in the near terms, and the result is deadlock.
However, women lawmakers cannot turn it around themselves. It will take the cooperation of the male members of Congress to make that happen. All the women can do is set good examples and hope that those examples will establish a trend in effective lawmaking. If they do that, they will be doing the jobs they were elected to do.
And wouldn’t that be refreshing.