The democratic presidential candidates
We all remember the historic presidential election of 2008. Democrat Barack Obama won the presidency, becoming the first non-white person ever to be elected head of state of the United States of America. Considering it was only just over a generation since then president Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Obama's election came as a shock to many older people.
But to most younger people, Obama's election was something of a fait accompli. He was by far the best of the democratic presidential candidates, and the only one who came off as a stable, calm, capable adult throughout. When emotions ruled many of the other democratic presidential candidates, Obama was cool and collected, relying on facts and pragmatism where others tried to sway voters through rhetoric and emotions.
Part of that rhetoric was thinly veiled racism. For those born after, say, 1960, it was a shock to see. Most of us have grown up in a world where racists were instantly persona-non-grata. We remember Al Campanis and Jimmy the Greek. We also remember capable, forward thinking Americans like Martin Luther King, Colin Powell and more. Sure, there are still racists among us, but those are fewer and farther between than they have been in previous generations. At the heart of the post-1960 generations is an understanding that all men (and women), no matter race, creed or color, are created equal. And should be given equal libertay to exercise their natural gifts to the best of their abilities in this great country of ours.
So of the democratic presidential candidates, Obama stood out. And once he was singled out by the older generation as "that one", young people tended to rally to his cause and vote in larger numbers than they did in previous elections.
Now, whether Obama is able to keep that support going through the 2012 election remains to be seen. Our last two presidents, and three of our last four have been two-term presidents, but that seems like a bit of an anomaly when compared to the larger scope of history. After all, since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, William Jefferson Clinton is the only democrat to win two terms.
Will Obama swim against the tide of history? Well, he already did it once when we picked him out of the field of democratic presidential candidates, did it again when he beat John McCain to win the office of the president. It's my guess he'll do it a third time in 2012.
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