I’ve been watching pundit after pundit talk about how they didn’t see the enthusiasm for Obama that they did in 2008 and were therefore confused by the turnout on election day.
I think they don’t quite understand what Obama did in 2008. He didn’t just give speeches that showed him as a charismatic, intelligent leader, he educated us. And while I was involved with politics before (my father was a politician and I worked on several campaigns, including extensively in 2004), I never saw my peers caring -deeply caring- about the elections before 2008. But after Obama we cared about politics - not politics, actually, issues.
And once you care about issues you don’t go back.
And the issues haven’t changed much since 2008. Gay rights. Middle class. Women’s rights. Those are things that my peers care about.
We weren’t polled because we’re not considered likely voters. Oh, those 18-32 year olds? Especially the childless ones? Who cares what they think. But we do think. And we do vote. And we vote our values - liberal values. Even my husband, one of the least political people I know (weird, right?) was calling people on the eve of the election, reminding them to vote, talking to them about issues, and making an effort.
While I’ll always be an Obama true believer, I love how he awoke a generation to politics, showing them that they can effect change, that yes we can make a difference in our future.
And that’s my favorite thing about Obama.
Very well said.
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