Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Waiting for change

<ted for change in 2008. One year into his presidency, we are still waiting.
President Obama’s campaign was ground breaking in a number of ways. To political analysts one of the most fascinating elements of the race was how Obama was able to fire up the youth demographic. To most college students, it was simple. We heard a message that we could believe in and a candidate that we wanted to deliver to the white house.

The youth vote turned out in historic numbers, 47% of American citizens under 30 voted and of that demographic, nearly two-thirds of them voted for Barack Obama. Students didn’t just show up at the voting booth, they also devoted their time and money to the campaign. On our own campus, Carls knocked on doors, made calls, hosted fundraising events, and even took time from school to work solely on the campaign. Pundits were commenting that maybe, because of Obama, the youth was finally becoming engaged and active participants in politics.

One year later the pundits have been proven wrong. Most people on campus seem to have forgotten about politics. The hype has passed, we’ve done our part, and we voted for change. So why are we still waiting?

Because change is slow. The election was the first step but that’s not where politics end. We cannot forget to follow through. The issues being discussed in Washington, DC are of vital importance to our generation. The job market is at an all time low when we are about to enter it. The deficit is at an all time high when we are about to pay for it. And health care is uncertain when we are about to need it.

It’s easy to get invested in the fervor of a campaign. The difficulty comes in sustaining involvement once the oath of office is taken. Just because we vote a candidate into office does not mean that we can expect them to address our concerns and enact our policies on their own. In a democracy, it’s the people’s responsibility to hold the government accountable and speak up for their ideals.

– The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian editors.

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