Today, I'm working on the front lines, at a polling location in Mantua (northeast University City). As a line-manager for the campaign, its my job to keep voters happy and in line. In this area, most voters are african american or students, and vote overwhelming for Obama, so everyone that leaves the lines is a vote lost.
For me, this election is massively important. In my 21 years, I have become a jaded American no trust for any politician. I no longer believed that the political process could be anything but mind-numbingly slow, tedious, and unresponsive. Voting was an empty gesture, indicating displeasure but failing to bring change. For me, the system would never change. Obama changed that, has given me a reason to believe change was possible. Possible, but not inevetable.
Today, I have hope. Today, I think that the young people of this country have a chance.
But that is nothing compared to the voters I am here to help. These people remember seperate but equal. They remember the civil rights movement. One of the obama election observers is a lawyer from New York, and she shared her memories of segregated drinking fountains as a child. Countless voters have come out almost in tears; the air is festive, people linger on the sidewalk to share memories of the past and revel in, dare I say it, hope.
For these voters, this election represents far more than than the possibility of change for the political sytem. The election represents hope for America itself.
As an extraordinarily white kid from an upper-middle class suburb, to have this experience is an increadible honor, and one that will stay with me.
The lines are starting to pick up now, I better get back to work -- otherwise I may need to pack for canada.