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Re: “Grow Up Time II

I'm 29 years old, and will freely admit that I did not actively participate in the political process until the 2004 election cycle. No, it's not something I'm proud of, but it is what it is. 2004 was the first year I truly cared, and the first year I voted. I even drove a few friends to the polls with me. We felt celebratory and we felt certain that Kerry would win. Even if we knew he couldn't win the vote in Idaho, it still felt good to stand up and be counted. Well you know how that turned out. When Bush was declared the winner, I cried. A lot of my friends did too. Emotions ran high in Generation XY. The fears you echo in your post are the same fears people talked about 4 years ago. Many pundits said that the 2004 election would leave us bitter & uninterested in politics. Robbed of our hopes and dreams once, they said, we would be lost forever. Well sir, we may have short attention spans, but we did NOT go crawl into holes of bitterness & howling despair: 2004 was not the end, it was the beginning. 2004 whetted our appetite for politics and we have spent the in between time anxiously awaiting the chance to start sooner, contribute more, and hone all of our technological "toys" into weapons of grass-roots organization. We knew we came too late to the party in 2004. We vowed to do better next time. Obama saw that we were hungry, ready, and willing... he spoke our language, leveraged our skills and put us to work. Obama's campaign has allowed every person who wanted to participate to contribute to the campaign in meaningful ways -- whether you lived in Iowa or Idaho, you could simply jump online to raise funds, organize events, phone bank, or travel to other states to help with voter registration and campaigning. It's simple and lovely and perfectly tailored to our talents and habits. I can assure you that I've spent far more time in the last six months involved in political action than I have playing video games, listening to my iPod, or watching episodes of Lost. Regardless of who wins the nomination or eventually the White House, I think it is fair to say that Obama is the most astute and effective political organizer by far. We will see his impact on the landscape of future elections for years to come. With that bit of soapbox out of the way, IF Obama maintains a delegate lead AND a popular vote lead, yes, I will be bitter if the nomination is given to Hillary, either through superdelegates or through a Michigan/Florida revote. As much as you, our political elders, are afraid of us: WE are afraid of YOU. We want to show you what we can accomplish. We want to be active and passionately engaged in winning the White House back in 2008. You need our help to change the political landscape -- we've already shown that in the primary cycle. We don't want our party leaders to dismiss our importance, or brush all of our efforts to the side. You worry about losing our passion -- we worry about you dismissing it. But we're not stupid. Regardless of how the nomination drama finally rolls to a conclusion, most of us will show up to vote in November. (Yes, for Hillary, cursing under our breath at the unfairness of it all.) We have become addicted to politics and that won't change. We will be around, motivated, and increasingly involved at every turn. We're hooked. Stop worrying about the general election and whether or not we'll show up. We will be there: you have Obama to thank for that.

Posted by Elena Webb on 03/12/2008 at 10:42 PM

Re: “Grow Up Time II

I'm 29 years old, and will freely admit that I did not actively participate in the political process until the 2004 election cycle. No, it's not something I'm proud of, but it is what it is. 2004 was the first year I truly cared, and the first year I voted. I even drove a few friends to the polls with me. We felt celebratory and we felt certain that Kerry would win. Even if we knew he couldn't win the vote in Idaho, it still felt good to stand up and be counted. Well you know how that turned out. When Bush was declared the winner, I cried. A lot of my friends did too. Emotions ran high in Generation XY. The fears you echo in your post are the same fears people talked about 4 years ago. Many pundits said that the 2004 election would leave us bitter & uninterested in politics. Robbed of our hopes and dreams once, they said, we would be lost forever. Well sir, we may have short attention spans, but we did NOT go crawl into holes of bitterness & howling despair: 2004 was not the end, it was the beginning. 2004 whetted our appetite for politics and we have spent the in between time anxiously awaiting the chance to start sooner, contribute more, and hone all of our technological "toys" into weapons of grass-roots organization. We knew we came too late to the party in 2004. We vowed to do better next time. Obama saw that we were hungry, ready, and willing... he spoke our language, leveraged our skills and put us to work. Obama's campaign has allowed every person who wanted to participate to contribute to the campaign in meaningful ways -- whether you lived in Iowa or Idaho, you could simply jump online to raise funds, organize events, phone bank, or travel to other states to help with voter registration and campaigning. It's simple and lovely and perfectly tailored to our talents and habits. I can assure you that I've spent far more time in the last six months involved in political action than I have playing video games, listening to my iPod, or watching episodes of Lost. Regardless of who wins the nomination or eventually the White House, I think it is fair to say that Obama is the most astute and effective political organizer by far. We will see his impact on the landscape of future elections for years to come. With that bit of soapbox out of the way, IF Obama maintains a delegate lead AND a popular vote lead, yes, I will be bitter if the nomination is given to Hillary, either through superdelegates or through a Michigan/Florida revote. As much as you, our political elders, are afraid of us: WE are afraid of YOU. We want to show you what we can accomplish. We want to be active and passionately engaged in winning the White House back in 2008. You need our help to change the political landscape -- we've already shown that in the primary cycle. We don't want our party leaders to dismiss our importance, or brush all of our efforts to the side. You worry about losing our passion -- we worry about you dismissing it. But we're not stupid. Regardless of how the nomination drama finally rolls to a conclusion, most of us will show up to vote in November. (Yes, for Hillary, cursing under our breath at the unfairness of it all.) We have become addicted to politics and that won't change. We will be around, motivated, and increasingly involved at every turn. We're hooked. Stop worrying about the general election and whether or not we'll show up. We will be there: you have Obama to thank for that.

Posted by Elena Webb on 03/12/2008 at 10:38 PM

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