Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What happened on Nov. 4 and why

People want it fast today. Fast food ... fast connection ... fast lane. As soon as Barack Obama was declared the winner, at 11:01 p.m. on election night, the instant analysis of his victory began. The cable news stations had their professional chattering experts at the ready -- presto! -- to offer viewers their steaming why-Obama-won overviews, fresh from the oven.

And, it was easy enough for partisan bloggers and would-be pundits to then parrot whatever analysis best jibed with their preconceived notions. The silliest of the post-election foot-stomping snarls have been those that insist Obama's victory was not a "landslide."

However, the more interesting and more useful commentary on the 2008 election is just beginning to be seen and heard. A week after the momentous event, beyond canned opinions and warmed-over wisdom, writers who can think for themselves are pulling their observations together. Bloggers who aren't just copycats are posting thoughtful comments and asking questions that matter.

Bart Hinkle offers Virginia's GOP some good advice in his Tuesday column in the RT-D, "Is It Time for the GOP to Try a Different Approach?" Click here to read it.

In the process of writing my own look back at how the election went, I've been noticing some worthwhile posts in the local blogosphere. Here are links to some of what I found:
  • Click here to read "Election Winners and Losers" at Save Richmond.
  • Click here to read "Dems Wrecking Democracy in RVA?" at Caramelized OpiNIONS (note the discussion in the comments section).

As I said, I'm now writing a piece on the election. So I'm not ready to offer many of my own half-baked ideas about what happened on Nov. 4, and why. Not yet.

But I do have one observation to make, a preview of what will be a point I hope to make with the piece that's in progress: Obama's victory was not so much a sign of a racial healing in America, as it was a sign of a generational shift. The Baby Boomers' children elected Obama.

That 18-to-40 demographic is not interested in re-fighting the Vietnam War, or payback for Watergate, or payback for the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran, etc. And, that age group is much more progressive than the Boomers are, as a whole, on matters to do with race or same-sex marriage, etc.

That said, with a black man about to become president of the USA, we still have a long way to go, if we want to get even close to being a truly just society, which offers a fair deal to all citizens, regardless of skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Yo! Faster isn't always better.

1 comment:

CultureAbsorber said...

Interesting post and blog. Relevantly, many prominent experts and publications have pointed out that Obama is part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and GenXers.
This link takes you to a page you may find interesting: it has, among other things, excerpts from publications like Newsweek and the New York Times, and videos with over 25 top pundits, all talking specifically about Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser: