This 'n' That

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


With the aid of the Hispanic vote in Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States. He is also the first African American who will reside in the White House on Pennsyvania Avenue come 20 January 2009. Election 2008 was far from being a repeat of the 2000 and 2004 elections that were stained by controversies about hanging chads and insinuations of corrupt voting practices in Florida in 2000 and Ohio four years later.

Barack Obama began to build a commanding lead of electoral votes soon after polls began to close on the east coast and never faltered. Once Pennsylvania turned a dark shade of blue, a hotly contested state along with Ohio and Florida, a win for Barack Obama had become a near certainty. And then Florida and Ohio gave up their electoral votes to the popular democratic candidate, two states that had put current President George Bush over the top in 2000 and 2004 respectively.

Change has occurred. Young voters below the age of thirty turned out to vote in large numbers. Hence, the face of the voting public has also changed. No longer do the faces resemble over thirty, white, middle and upper middle class faces that have essentially lived in a vacuum of among their own kind. Young voters of today have been and are constantly exposed to, and intermingle with varied groups of people of varied races, ethnic and religious groups. They exchange thoughts and ideas about the current state of global affairs. They are far from being nationalistic by any stretch of the imagination. What has empowered the youth of today to be more curious, informed and eager to participate in order to make a difference, a change, is access to the internet. It is a fast and efficient way of accumulating information. Some of it not all that accurate. Still their faith in what they read and visualized online never caused them to waiver in their support of the man who they believed could and would bring about the kind of change they want to see. They genuinely care about quality of life they desire to live in the next four years and possibly beyond.

One critical aspect of the Obama campaign is that they placed a good amount of trust in young voters. They were trusted to separate cotton candy rhetoric from fact, to know the real issues as opposed to rumor and innuendo. And they were invited to participate in the electoral process. Most of all these young, focused voters knew what they wanted in a president; they sought him out and aggressively lent their support from the beginning to the end. What is true now and for the future is that our youth of today are brighter, more engaged, and more willing to participate in the democratic process than some of their elders would have ever believed.