Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And the waiting will soon be over --- teens are tense

The results will begin coming in soon. It seems that the interest in the results is huge. The presidential election mania has spread from the usual political class to a much broader spectrum of the population, even to teenagers. Listening in the car to 14 and 15 year olds discuss the election("she didn't even know what the Bush Doctrine is") represents how fundamentally different this election has been. The only comparison may be the Kennedy and Nixon election in 1960. That year at least one 5th grade classroom was festooned with ribbons and pins, an event not organized by the teacher but simply spontaneous competitive sparring among classmates. Johnson and Goldwater had some of that youthful interest around as well, especially among those rebellious 14 year old Goldwater fans. After that, nothing until now for the tweener and young teen set to really get involved in, at least from one observation as either a teacher or a parent over much of the intervening years.

Some young teens who two months ago had not a clue how a president was elected and what the parties traditionally stood for are now fully engaged. One said to me yesterday, and I quote, "I should be able to vote. I know more than most of the people who get to vote."

"You may be right", and you'll certainly get to live a long time with the impact of this year's results.


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