YES WE CAN! The Youth Vote Matters!
38 hours have passed since I found out that Barack Obama is going to be our new president. And what a ride it’s been.
Did any of you have trouble voting? The lines in New York were out of control! Seriously, a coworker’s line stretched nearly half a mile. And this is NEW YORK. Ain’t no way, no how McCain was going to win here. There was a better chance of King Kong climbing the Empire State building. And yet…people waited as long as 4 hours.
Growing up, I felt jealous of my parents’ generation, of the hippies who joined forces and believed in something together. Sure, for many that shared path led to disillusionment, but what a nation of Americans! However, on Tuesday night, for the first time in my life, I felt like I, too, was part of something. For those of you who weren’t in New York, people were dancing in the street, singing, playing bongos, hugging, crying, and gathering with strangers on the street as if they were lifelong friends. This doesn’t happen in New York. Except, it did.
It also happened in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana(!), Virginia, and all across the country. When Kerry wasn’t elected in ’04, I didn’t just feel like I lost – I felt like I didn’t know the country I was living in. I felt totally isolated in my “blue state”. But now…now I really feel like we’re at the beginning of something incredible. Partly, because while I’m just one person – it feels like my opinions matter, that my small efforts were appreciated.
Want to guess who the first text I received post-election was from? Barack – thanking me for my support and telling me that my continued support is much needed. Yep, continued support. I know that many of us got really excited about this election and put a lot of time into it. Well, the election is over but Barack Obama’s presidency is just beginning. Yes we can – it’s not past tense. It’s our present. We may be young, perhaps even naïve, but we matter. This election proves it.