Last week, as the country marked the anniversary of the violent Charlottesville protests and the hate that bubbled up to the surface in America on that fateful day, I wrote a column about a president and certain political commentators pushing division and discrimination because they are upset about “demographic changes” in America.
As I mentioned, I was hopeful the real moral majority would arise -- one that believes in a more inclusive country and a politics of integrity and compassion. I am happy to see that is just what is happening.
I think when we look back not so many years from now, we will see that President Trump was an impetus to ushering in a new era of diversity and inclusion. Though this is not his intention, his words and actions are giving an incredible boost to emerging leaders who represent the country in all its wonderful differences and diversity.
Over the course of the last few months, we have seen a broad collection of candidates for public office emerge who are no longer part of the traditional white-male-Christian power structure that has dominated the United States since its founding. And more evidence of this emerged last night in the primaries held in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Vermont.
The number of women running for office at all levels is at an historic high. From state legislature to congressional to gubernatorial races, women are stepping up and leading in this time of great change. When the election is over this fall, we are likely to have more women holding political power than ever in our history, from state houses to Washington.
America is on the road to becoming for the first time in its history a majority-minority country, and this is reflected in the number of Latinos, African-Americans and Asians who hold office and as well as those running for office.
We have candidates of diverse faith backgrounds (and those of no religious faith) winning races that would have otherwise been deemed impossible in years past: Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, agnostics, and atheists are on the path to becoming more engaged and grasping the reins of political power that just a few years ago we would have doubted could happen.
Gay, lesbian and transgender candidates have had the courage to step forward and offer their abilities to help lead America in this difficult moment, and are winning primaries in diverse states around this great Republic of ours.
So not only have we seen barriers fall for that group to marry those they love, we also have seen voters responding to their message of compassion and inclusion.
While much of the push against diversity by those holding power has created fear, anxiety and dread among these Americans, and the words and actions of those who would discriminate has been destructive, we see a rising tide of people of courage succeeding despite the best efforts of those losing their grip on power.
So let us give a moment of thanks to President Trump and others with a megaphone who appear to push or be willingly blind to the politics of hate -- you have actually put the rise of diversity and decency in our politics on steroids.
And you have succeeded in inspiring a whole new generation of leaders to emerge in America who no longer are satisfied accepting the status quo.
My hope is that as the new leaders take office and exercise political power they will seek to heal and not punish and that we will all take a lesson from Nelson Mandela in serving with compassion and reconciliation coming from a place of love.
Many of these emerging leaders have suffered much in their lives, so their capacity for empathy is likely immense. Let us support them in helping reflect the diversity of America, and give them the help and space they need in bridging our divides.
Matthew Dowd is an ABC News analyst and special correspondent. Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of ABC News.