Where Has All the Youth Gone?
This week, one of our sessions was dominated by the lack of activism amongst young people. All the young people who worked furiously to get their vote counted during the 2008 Election period; the young people who organized themselves in order to prevent "another 8 years." Most of our staff is not "youth" and therefore has a much more realistic view of politics and government. They realize that our black, democratic President could be a blip in the history books.
In our discussion, the youth were accused of disappearing on the issues; allowing their voices to fade into the November 2nd parades. Getting lost in a sea of false security after coming out victorious over the oppressive administration we had come to know and loathe for 8 long, scary years.
We don't have to fight any more, our guy is in office now. It's all good--right?
The margin that Obama won by was not as large as we would all like to believe. There is still a large part of the country that supports Republican views and policies, and they are mobilizing. Where is the voice of the Barack the Vote campaign now? Why are we all of a sudden so silent?
In the recent Town Hall meetings on the Health Care issue around the country, the dissenting voices have gotten all the press, even on Jon Stewart! There was an entire segment (albeit a very funny segment) devoted to the Town Hall attendees who brought guns to the meetings (obviously opposing the Health Care reform).
Where are the constituents who supported Obama through an enlightening and hope-renewing campaign?
I think that we, the youth, have a very short attention span. It's like video games; once you have beat the system, you move on. You don't play again to see what else you can do (or learn). We need to learn that you can't ever permanently beat the system. You need to consistently beat away at the system from different angles to get any sort of result. This could potentially be a one term stint.
And although we finally looked like a progressive nation to the rest of the world, how hard will they laugh at us when we can't keep The Change in office? The clusters of liberals that can be found in the coast cities and on the internet need to mobilize. We can't get comfortable, we need to always be on guard.
Of course, it's okay to like Obama and not like something he is trying to push through, but we cannot allow one political view speak for the nation as a whole. It's time for the other end of the political spectrum to dust off their bull horns and be heard.