Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Battle on the Kitchen Table

Better scholars know that often times the course of history turns on very ordinary circumstances and events.

And so it goes.

A war is being fought in America. It's being fought on some very odd battlefields and by some unexpected soldiers.

The battle for America is being fought on $399.00 Walmart computers on the kitchen tables of the twenty-somethings.

The unexpected combatants in this war are mommies, the primary weapons Facebook, Twitter, IMs, Text Messages -- in between "The Young and the Restless", in between planting strawberries on Farmvill, in between Mafia Wars, in between spoonfulls of Gerber baby food to the kid in the high chair, in between backfence chit chat with the "mommy next door"; the dial on the anger is ratcheting up.

The first wave of twenty-somethings came out for Senator Obama in the spring, summer, and fall of 2008. The 2008 election was the first election won on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter. It was won with micro-contributions and one social connection at a time, one link and one comment on the Facebook Wall.

Obama was hip, and John McCain was a deer in the headlights. One could say that the Presidential election of 2008 was a battle of Style versus Substance, except for the fact that John McCain had neither.

So America elected a very hip, young, attractive, personable, stylish President.

Then came the pain.

Then came the awakening. Over 10% unemployment in some states. Total destruction of the housing markets. Government takeover of treasured American industries like General Motors. An ugly seeping dark understanding of a fundamental truth -- this man, this President, and his friends in Congress have the country on the fast track to 3rd World status.

So now comes the new wave of twenty-somethings. They're not stupid, but they're not intellectual either. In fact, they may be better adjusted than the first wave. They partied in high school. They ignored politics. They sat in the back of civics class and never took their jacket off. They drank beer and they blew weed.

But a funny thing happened to that second wave of twenty-somethings. They grew up. They reproduced.

So twenty-something daddy's out working. He'd driving a delivery truck, or he's unclogging a drain, or he's operating a piece of machinery at a factory.

And twenty-something mommy is watching the kids.

But there's that computer on the kitchen table. That little computer someone bought for Christmas for less than $500. Twenty-something mommy is at home, but she's networked. She's in Tennessee, but she's talking to her friend in Idaho, and they both know their congressman voted in for a thousand page health care bill he didn't read.

They're both mad, and they both plan to vote in 2010.

Then came the old farts from the left -- Maureen Dowd . . . Janeane Garofalo . . . Bill Maher . . . geeze, finally Jimmy Carter and David Letterman -- old people who used to be young. People who remember Woodstock, people who knew people who went to Woodstock, people who went to Woodstock. They brought old formulas.

"We'll just call the opposition racist", they thought. And so they did.

But race as a political issue is so nineteen-sixties.

And in the end, middle class America is not going to be concerned about race, for some very simple reasons. When people need to feed their families, they don't care what color their boss or employees are.

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