Kudos to Obama, youth voters

Elizabeth Johnston

The American people have spoken.
Unfortunately for me, they spoke for the other side. I voted for Sen. John McCain, for a variety of reasons – the most important being our country is in a whole mess of trouble and I only trusted a seasoned pro to help us out of it. The majority of Americans, however, decided we needed drastic change rather than experience.

I wasn’t that surprised Tuesday night when the major networks began declaring the winner; I accepted weeks ago that Sen. Barack Obama would win the election. I think most McCain supporters knew that our candidate faced an uphill battle, what with the plague of being associated with the previous eight years of the Bush White House. Obama ran an almost-flawless campaign, the media was openly on his side, and liberal comedy programs like “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show” had more of an influence than ever (it could be argued that the McCain ticket was defeated by Tina Fey). Honestly, this time the media didn’t even attempt to appear unbiased; they jumped on the Obama bandwagon early and rode it all the way to victory.

I’m surprisingly not that bitter about the election results. If we are going to have a Democrat in the White House, I’m glad that it’s Obama. He is a very powerful and inspirational speaker, and he has had the ability to unite millions with his vision. The United States needs that now. We are involved in two wars, the economy continues to worsen, and terrorism is a constant threat. Divisive leadership would be disastrous. He’s also charismatic – if I have to see a Democrat on the news every day for the next four years, I’m glad it is someone with personality and not a pompous bore like Sen. John Kerry.

The overwhelming emotion I’ve been experiencing is relief – relief that this election is finally over. It seemed to last forever, didn’t it? Now the country can focus on moving on, healing past wounds and fixing the growing list of problems. And not have to listen to night after night of countless polls and heavy analysis of three-word sound bytes.

No one knows how Obama will serve as President, but if his leadership skills are as strong as his campaigning skills, he stands to be quite impressive. He has made it clear that change is coming, but there are some areas where I think he should hold back: don’t pull out of Iraq prematurely, don’t raise taxes and don’t pack the Supreme Court with far-left judges. Our fragile country cannot handle any of that right now.
I know I’m one of the few young people who did not vote for Obama; anyone who was awake when the results were announced Tuesday night could hear the raucous celebrations going on in Hill-Vill circle.

The youth of America is energized and proud. And they should be – we live in the generation that elected America’s first black president, something that is nothing short of amazing. Regardless of political affiliation, no matter how apathetic or conservative you are, Obama’s acceptance speech had to have stirred something inside of you. His story is the epitome of the American Dream.

So, congratulations, President-elect Obama. Good luck.