Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Youth for Obama

I had to post this reader comment from a thread on the Washington Post:

In my small-town caucus district, the Obama supporters -- all of them, as far as I could tell -- were sincere, informed, passionate liberals.

They were also very young -- which is something you Baby Boomers would actually be excited about if you weren't all so narcissistic. An influx in passionate young voters is the equivalent of a political party winning a lottery jackpot; IT IS THE SINGLE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO A PARTY.

Honestly, do you folks realize how curmudgeonly and out-of-touch you sound? How smug and condescending? Are you truly missing the irony in, e.g., condemning young voters as ignorant by posting the illiterate and credulous stuff on this thread? ("Lou Dodds [sic] on TV said Obama voters didn't know nothing about politics! Yung voters is dum-dums!")

We young voters aren't stupid, ignorant, or indifferent to the significance of this historical moment. As those Dartmouth kids in the interview explained: we just don't like Hillary Clinton!

Why should we vote for someone we don't like? Why should we be shamed for it?

I'm happy to explain why Obama is substantively a much stronger candidate than HRC -- but in my experience of the past two weeks, the maudlin, self-pitying Baby Boomers don't really want to have that conversation; they just want to lament the fact that young voters have seized control of the party's destiny.

Well, start getting adjusted, old folks: we ARE in control. And we aren't giving that control back to you -- ever. It's our party now, and our movement. And Obama is going to be our young president.

The good news for you is that the powerful progressive movement Obama's arrival presages will mean that you'll get the health care you need over the next 30 years. It will also mean several -- not one, but several -- woman presidents in the country's near future. (Who knows: maybe one of them will be a lesbian! The young voters who are storming the gates of the Democratic party certainly wouldn't mind.)

In spite of the condescending "heart-over-head" line that the punditry has been repeating ad nauseam, we young voters know exactly what issues are important to us, and who is likeliest to make some headway on them.

And I'll be frank: the "dynastification" that the student in the article worried about is a substantive political concern, one that's connected closely to the alarming class divisions that began to open up under Bill Clinton and grew wider under Bush II.

HRC's cynical, cowardly support for the Iraq War is also a substantive argument against her leadership. Her support for the resolution naming Iran's armed forces a "terrorist organization" proves that she's learned nothing from her catastrophic error, and cannot be trusted at the reins of American foreign policy.

Stop resisting and belittling the Obama revolution. This train's leaving the station with or without you. We'd rather have you all along for the ride -- but we're ready to make history without you.

Thanks, Mymangodfrey!

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