I am as guilty as anybody. In my past life as a Democratic political operative I was of the belief that so-called voters below the age of 45 didn't matter. I was oriented in the early and mid 1990s when I got into this business (my first election as a volunteer was 1992, my first as a paid operative/manager was 1996) that young voters don't count. Don't waste time and resources on them and actually more cynically don't encourage them to vote because they are the great unwashed and could easily vote the "wrong way."
The Iowa Caucus last night could be the precursor of a radical change in American politics. Young voters have never mattered and the poltical game has been marked by constant tension between the baby boomers and their parent: the greatest generation as dubbed by Tom Brokaw. But the support for Barack Obama and to a lesser extent Mike Huckabee on the other side was largely based on pre-baby boomers.
Post partisan and post 1960s defined politics in the United States has been declared before only for us as a nation to fall back into our familiar red and blue pattern based on fallout from the 1960s and 1970s: Vietnam, Watergate and the ERA era. Could we have finally moved beyond this constant civil war which has divided us into two very seperate nations: one made up of elitists (ie. snobs) along the coasts and in the Chicagoland area who tend vote blue and those in between who are working class oriented and more tinged by religion who often vote red arguably (from my perspective) directly against their economic self interest.
Could Obama and Huckabee be vehicles for an important change in American politics and political discourse. From a recovering operative, I certainly hope so.
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- I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.