‘MORE WORK TO DO’| 11/7/12 9:22pm
As part of a generation that is often accused of laziness and apathy, students at Grand Valley State University should be proud of youth vote results, which showed that 22-23 million voters (49 percent) ages 18-29 showed up to the polls on Tuesday, making up 19 percent of the total electoral.
The youth vote put President Barack Obama back in the White House for a second term, as he received 60 percent of the youth vote compared to 37 percent for Romney.
“Young people are energized and committed voters,” said Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, who analyzed the youth vote results following the election. “Youth turnout of around 50 percent is the ‘new normal’ for presidential elections. Considering that there are 46 million people between 18 and 29, this level of turnout makes them an essential political bloc.”
Both candidates expressed the nations need to cross party lines in hopes of having any success of forward motion, Obama telling Chicago voters that, “By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better president.”
Even in defeat, Romney agreed that it is up to the nation to join together as one.
“The nation, as you know, is at a critical point,” Romney said stoically during his concession speech Tuesday night. “At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.”
And now that campaigning is over, we can only hope that strategy becomes honesty, and our still-divided U.S. House of Representatives and Senate make this dissention of division tangible.
But here’s an undeniable fact that many – political analysts to campaign officials – are finally coming to terms with: the fabric of this country is a changing one. Us Millennials are far more open to a diverse pattern of beliefs, cultures and viewpoints than our older, whiter and richer generations before us. We got out the vote; we delved into the issues – now let’s keep the discussion going.