The networks just declared Barack Obama as winner of the presidential election. This is a watershed moment for America, with power shifting from the previous generation to the next generation. The most encouraging aspect for me is the turnout of young voters, including all the elementary, middle, and high school students who were involved in mock debates and elections.
All three of my elementary-aged kids had the chance to vote for president yesterday. The result in our school was directionally accurate – 376 votes for Obama vs. 89 votes for McCain – and reflects the enthusiasm our kids feel for this dynamic new president. Whether you supported McCain or Obama, you can’t understate the impact this election will have on our kids and their perception of what this country stands for.
40% of the “millennial generation” – kids born between 1977 and 1995 – are minorities. For years we have heard about a growing wealth gap, low performing inner city schools, and a variety of glass ceilings that have stubbornly refused to be broken. This election will restore the idea of the American Dream.
This morning I brought my two older kids to our polling place to give them the chance to participate in the making of history. They couldn’t vote, but they had the chance to see our democracy in action. I hope it is a day they will remember for the rest of their lives.