Friday, October 17, 2008

Teens Will Save Us

I know, I know. It seems crazy but after phone banking last night with a bunch of Obama supporters who are NOT OLD ENOUGH TO VOTE, I believe this.

There I was, calling random strangers, asking about their ballot choices when I realized that the great majority of people around me were, in fact, high school kids. I was suspicious but they seemed normal. The guys arrived on their skateboards and the girls peppered their language with lots of "OMG!" and the inevitable "so,like, I was, like, totally, like ...." This horrible speaking habit, I noticed, was not displayed on the phone calls. (A-ha! So it can be turned off!)

Dang. I am so impressed with these kids and told them so. When I was in high school, I certainly didn't two shits about what was going on in the outside adult world, let alone offer to help. Geez. (I do remember being excited about voting. I cast my ballot for Reagan because he seemed nice - swear to God.)

I was commending one girl and making this comparison between the generations and she said, "Yeah, my mom, like, said the same thing. Dunno. Different times, I guess." Then, she went back to talking to her buddy about their recent 'solar v. wind v. fossil fuels' debate in her Environment Class ....! Different times? Holy shit! It's like they are from a different planet - a much more enlightened, responsible one.

I had to ask, "Why are you guys here if you can't even vote?" They explained that it is a student-organized group at their high school (George Washington, here in Denver) that does a number of activities, including volunteering for Obama. I asked one shaggy-headed young man if he was frustrated that he was doing all this but could not cast a ballot. "Oh, yeah. Totally. But," he shrugged, "Obama needs to be our next president and I'll be able to vote for his second term."

"Wow," I said to the kid. "You guys are going to save us. Truly." He just smiled at me sheepishly. I continued, "It does make sense, I guess. Since you're going to inherit everything. Er, sorry about the big mess. Heh."

"Yeah," he laughed nervously "Thanks a lot!"

Postscript: I was less inspired by the older gentleman phone banking to my right. He was an African-American fellow who'd recently moved to Denver from Georgia to help his kids and grandkids "prepare." For what, I asked? Well, the End Times, of course. May 21, 2011. Mark your calendars.


Heidi's heart said...

Well, I can relate to these teens because when I was one, I volunteered at Sen. George McGovern's campaign headquarters in Racine, Wis. The big difference is that I was the only teen doing so.

At the 20 or so demonstrations I have attended since 9/11, I have seen a good number of young people. This is heartening. So, yes, they're out there. They're not yet the majority, but when in history has history ever been made by the majority!

Mark Dowdy said...

Heather, you're inspiration to us all get off our asses and do everything we possibly can to win this baby!

Because of you, I stopped procrastinating and signed up for Monday evening.

ClizBiz said...

Heidi - You are my favorite exception! OF COURSE, you were volunteering as a teen but you are always the first to see the light. You're a pioneer!

MD: Right on, Mark!!!!!! I think you will really dig it. You meet a lot of cool people and it sure beats sitting around and worrying.