Saving the Obama Agenda: The Youth Vote and Social Networking

October 10, 2010

“Each generation must out of relative obscurity discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.”

Frantz Fanon

History will record that Barack Obama’s team arguably ran the greatest presidential campaign ever- in the sense that it pulled out the rug from underneath the political establishment. The internet played a crucial role in raising money, building support for the candidate between new coalitions of people, and spreading his message.

As the nation prepares for the upcoming mid-term election, the internet technology could again be a game changer, in particular among young voters. The youth vote turned out in record numbers in the 2008 presidential election, a pivotal factor in lifting Barack Obama to victory. Obama’s awesome organizing effort was build on the commitment and innovations of young people. David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manger state “Countless key supporters signed up for the campaign because of their positive interactions with our organizers… This speaks to both Obama’s appeal to younger people (almost all of our organizers were under twenty-five) as well as the appeal of organizing for a campaign and candidate who actually believed in, well, organizing.”

Yet, it was the Obama’s campaign brilliant use of the internet that helped to mobilize and organized young people and the based of Obama’s support. “Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not be president. Were it not for the Internet, Barack Obama would not have been the nominee,” said Arianna Huffington, editor in chief of The Huffington Post.” But by using interactive Web 2.0 tools, Mr. Obama’s campaign changed the way politicians organize supporters, advertise to voters, defend against attacks and communicate with constituents. Commenting on the Obama campaign’s use of the internet, Peter Daou, Mrs. Clinton’s Internet director said “Their use of social networks will guide the way for future campaigns.”

Once again, the youth vote will be a key factor in determining the outcome of the mid-term election. with less than a month to go, young people need to employ the internet, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube in getting voters to the polls to vote. What’s at stake: Our future- a more democratic society or a throwback to a close and racially and religiously intolerant society.

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