Obama offers hope for real change, truly engages our generation

By Amia Jackson

There are three fundamental American tenets that every member of our generation has been told. First, you can be anything you want to be as long as you work hard enough. Second, in order to have a real future, you must attend college. Third, all of the best years, the most important years, the revolutionary years, are behind us.It is this last tenet that is most disconcerting. It’s the reason we are all searching for our place and purpose on this planet. It is the reason the campus has so many causes, mini-protests, and demonstrations.

It is also the reason we have so much apathy. We as a generation all want to change the world, to make it a better place, or at the very least to leave our mark and our claim for future generations. At the same time, we could accept that we can have no real change in it and instead decide not to give a shit.

Those of us who follow the former route are overwhelmingly Obama supporters.

This is not to say that Hillary supporters don’t give a shit. Democrats will agree that Hillary would make a good president. Some would even contend that if Barack Obama weren’t running, she would be their first choice.

But as members of this generation, and especially as students on this campus, we are not satisfied with mediocrity. We are not even content with being good.

We see the speeches of JFK, hear the speeches of MLK, and think of the importance of the politics, race relations, and social movements of the 60s, and we can’t help but feel that the time is now for us to be seen, heard, and thought about. Because of this election, we are getting that chance.

We have been living in a system that promotes overachievement as achievement, in a nation that tells you that you have to be extraordinary to succeed. All the while, we are told that we don’t measure up to the competition.

Of course, it doesn’t matter that the competition is ourselves. But that kind of thinking left us wanting something more, something revolutionary.

Then came Barack. He’s too young, he’s not experienced enough. He’s too hopeful. He has grandiose dreams of what this country can be, and because of that we follow him in droves, in hordes; we fill stadiums.

Macalester students stand in cold for hours just to be in his proximity. The more he challenges the status quo, the more we support him.

Hillary Clinton has led Barack in much of the primary race despite his high voter turnout, his connection with the youth, and his semi-rock star status.

Clinton is 60, old enough to have been a part of the 60s and see its eventual demise. She knows a secret that we cannot fully understand because of years of indoctrination: for all its bells and whistles, the 60s weren’t that great. She is practical, as evidenced by her campaign slogans “Solutions for America” and “The Smart Choice.”

Clinton is the person we would vote for if we used only our heads and bypassed our hearts.

For now, practicality is winning over revolution. But only by a small margin and probably not for too much longer.

Contact Amia Jackson at [email protected]