Barak Obama and Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses this week. For Huckabee, a virtual unknown three months ago, to win on a shoestring budget is quite amazing. But the bigger story is Barak Obama's win. Obama, an African-American, won in overwhelming white Iowa. This just shows how far Americans have come on racial issues. Fifty years ago, fifty percent of Americans said they would not vote for someone who is black. Today, that number is around 6 percent. Whatever you think of his politics, the fact that Americans in at least one state were willing to nominate an African-American is a good thing and a feel good story.
In fact, the news of Obama's stunning victory over Hillary Clinton, who had been the frontrunner and finished 3rd, was the shot that was heard all around the world. This coverage has been reported worldwide. Here are a few examples.
Many commentators have said that Huckabee's and Obama's nominations are a sign that the country is ready for a change from the divisive politics of the past. They both spoke of bringing political parties together. Obama spoke of a "purple America," not blue or red states. Of course, we have heard this from other politicians in the past who were running for president, but they got to Washington and the status quo remained.
I report on this political event to make a cultural obeservation. One thing is for sure. Young people came out in droves in Iowa. Turnout was about 50% higher than normal. Whether this is sustainable, or will stay in Iowa remains to be seen. But clearly, a message of hope, inclusiveness, and honesty resonates with younger generations. They want someone to inspire them. They want to be color blind. They want to see people who are different holds hands together and serve together. They don't want to bicker about minor matters, or live in an atomosphere of derision and division. We need to remember this as we seek to reach out to the world.
What trends have you seen in younger generations?
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