I've been home all day with a massive cold since I attended a day-long rally on Sunday for, now, President-Elect Obama here in Cleveland. That day started off great- no clouds in the sky and just a bit chilly but by the time we got done waiting four hours in line and getting up to the stage area, it had turned cold and half-way thru Obama's speech, it started to rain.
But, you know, it was worth it.
I've seen him give more moving speeches on tv and you could tell he was tired and worn out but to see him in person was truly amazing. It's just really nice to have a leader you can actually look up to again and respect to do the right thing.
He's also much shorter in person, btw. Springsteen, who played before Obama took the stage, is short enough, but Obama maybe was a few inches taller if that.
So, last night, already dying from this cold, I sat on my couch and watched the results come in while friend after friend AIM'd or texted me for results or to supply on-going commentary. No doubt this little ritual was being repeated by millions all across the world.
No longer do we wait to discuss our thoughts around the water cooler, per se, it's all done immediately and by the time we get into work the next day and approach said water cooler, we're already on to whatever news broke five minutes ago.
My friend Eric was on the train heading home after work texting me for updates on states that were called. Brad from Chiodos was in a hotel in Seattle AIM'ng me about how great things looked. My other friend, Patti, was holed up in her apartment with her boyfriend James, both political wonks like me, nerding out with me while we sent each other links to the updated Virginia Secretary of State vote results page and analyzing a number of counties to see how much of the vote was still out.
By the time Ohio was called, she had popped her bottle of celebratory champagne she had stored away for this now-possible big moment (cuz if you knew your electoral college nerd points last night, as soon as Ohio and Virginia called, it was over.)
The rest of the night was just historical and it didn't even sink in until today while sitting around at home trying to recoup (had to miss Academy Is tonight…blah!!!) Watching videos on-line from other newscasts last night when the election was called for Obama just kept making me break down in tears.
I know I've said in the past that when the White House goes to the Democrats, it's always a bad four to eight years for punk rock (who you gonna complain about in your lyrics??) Yet, I'll gladly live thru some bad music for what you guys did for the world yesterday.
And when I say "you guys", I mean everyone 18-29, 66% of you to be exact, more of you since the election of 1976, who voted for Barack Obama yesterday.
The Election of 2008 was the year that young America took control of the country. Campaign friends of mine early on told me how the people working within the Obama campaign were under 30 years old and tech-savvy to no end whereas the Clinton people were old school politico types from DC.
Obama realizes that the world, and our nation, has changed and, as the Greatest Generation of World War 2 survivors die off, will change even faster (all of the anti-gay marriage measures being passed now will, undoubtedly, be reversed within the next decade- give it time).
Young America gets it.
Spike Lee said yesterday that there was now going to be two periods in America: BB and BA (Before Barack and After Barack.)
After Barack would represent color blindness, equality, understanding and respecting one another and that's where I think Young Americans play a major role.
The problem the McCain campaign had in its philosophy, and the Republican Party for that matter, is that they still thought it was 1958. There always has to be some group to hate, to pick on and to demean. That's not what Young America is about and that's why the GOP lost this election.
Readers of AP are a lot more understanding, more open-minded, more accepting than their parents, I can pretty much guarantee.
And I can also guarantee that their technical prowess will advance the world in ways unimagined as they get older and into positions of power. Author Don Tapscott was on NPR the other day promoting his new book, "Grown Up Digital: How The Net Generation Is Changing The World" and he spoke of how scientists are beginning to realize that because of today's youth essentially being born with a computer in their hand from day one practically, that it's going to change the way that they use their brain and that it will actually change the way the human brain functions and handles tasks and problem solving.
They will change the world we live in for the better in ways no other generation before them could (or would for that matter.)
And I'm way too excited to see what you guys end up doing.
So, in the replies to this post, give me a hint- what do you think Young America should do to help make this world a better place?
Thank You, Young America.