Friday, November 06, 2009

Facebook Citizenship

A year ago, right-thinking people made history by electing Obama. A big part of the story was the young and first-time voters getting energized and entering the political process with enthusiasm. It was all very exciting.

Then it got really boring and anti-climatic and disappointing for a lot of these people. Obama didn't change the world overnight as they expected, and their enthusiasm and involvement dwindled to the occasional Facebook posting supporting health care reform or objecting to anti-gay rights initiatives.

Until finally on Tuesday we reached the absolute nadir, where many couldn't be bothered even to exercise their most minimal civic responsibility -- to go out to the polls and vote. In Virginia and New Jersey, the under-30 share of the electorate dropped by HALF. The share of voters over 65 actually increased. Ridiculous.

I can hear the arguments of people I know. That their choices in those states sucked. Which they kinda did. Or that Obama's been too moderate, too slow, too much of a compromiser. If he wants to sustain their interest, he needs to do more, they might say.

Nothing moves as fast as we'd like, but it's no reason to opt out of the process. If people are disappointed that the public option has been watered down or that DOMA hasn't been overturned, then get out DO something about it. Write your representative, sign up to man phone banks, attend a rally, organize a house party.

And for chrissakes, VOTE. If you don't, and can't be trusted to come out again, why should the parties even bother to take your concerns into account in the future?

I'm going to start a Facebook group: "Rob became a fan of People Actually Working for the Change They Want Instead of Sitting Around and Complaining About the Process."

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