Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Talkin' 'bout My Generation: Rock the Vote?!

I will not be talking about the new political climate. (What, no!!!!) Fine, maybe a little. As everyone is doubtlessly aware, the United States of America has completed their 2008 election cycle and has elected Senator Barack Obama to serve as the next president. I am sure that most of my readers were like me, glued to their televisions until the election was called.

The day after the election, I was reading different articles to learn what transpired and ran across something interesting from MSNBC. Melissa Dahl wrote of the young voters having a record turnout of 24 million, more than had shown up during the 2004 election. (Reported somewhere between 49.3 and 54.5 percent turnout) She writes that Millennials, in this election, bucked the common trend of mirrored results with those over 30 in favor of Senator Obama by a margin of 2-1. However, the most significant part of her article is not how they voted for but the way that this generation thinks and learns. She cites Morley Winograd, writer of Millennial Makeover, who believes that Generation Y determines truth through consensus, learning by communicating with their peers in many different electronic media. However, those that disagree are accepted into the fold, their ideas incorporated into the "common knowledge" to find that consensus which the generation desires. It is this broad sense of unification that could make or break the way that Freemasonry accepts this new generation of brothers.

Freemasonry is a fraternity, a fraternity that prides itself on the concept of Brotherly Love. If the author is correct, one of the first steps that our Institution needs to bring in these candidates is to understand this new thought pattern. Now, I am not saying that we have to agree on all beliefs but I think if we open ourselves to discuss new concepts in Freemasonry, we will make our Fraternity stronger and more accepted in society.

I believe that the MIllennials mirror those same beliefs that the Greatest Generation had, beliefs in civic responsibility and building up of social institutions. This could fortuitous in the rebirth of Fraternalism in this country, with its dedication to civil service. I think that this higher voter turnout is auspicious for our Fraternity, our cities but most of all, our country. I just hope we can guide this enthusiasm for civil service within our Fraternity and become the pillar of society that we should be.


I have decided to post both of the candidates' speeches from Tuesday night as I found them to be the two classiest speeches delivered in years. It is my belief that in 2008, America really had no bad choices to make between these candidates. They represent the same class of statesman that have always guided our country in trying times. I would like to congratulate the American people, my people, for picking two men that represent that consummate politician which is so rare these days. Now, no more political stuff from Nick. (collective sigh of relief)


Anonymous said...

I like to see a positive view on the younger candidates like this. There is a tendency in freemasonry, at least where I come from, to paint everything "modern" as bad; that the world today is going to hell.

But every generation has its challenges and makes progress in other areas. Even in ancient Greece the old philosophers were bemoaning the state of the youth! You can find the same argument in medievel times. We are still here, and the HAS been progress. Mistakes as well, sure, we're human.

I think our generation has already achieved progress. Sure, we can do better, and I have faith we will. And then, in about 40 years time, it's our turn to gripe about the sad state of the current young generation, and how everything was so much better when WE were young. Conveniently forgetting that our elders held exatly the same bleak view of us.

[slight rant, there, sorry :-)]

burntloafer said...

As someone who is old enough to be Nick's Dad, I can attest to the fact that there have always been a few people who like to sit and bitch about the current generation as the reason for one problem or another.

I disagreed with this as a kid, and I still disagree as an old fart. I meet kids who are wonderful, and give me hope for the future.

As someone raised in a household from the far right aisle, I hear what is basically the same argument about politicians. Now, to anyone who wants to shout rants of fear, go back and listen to Obama's speech. You should be encouraged by the lack of whining - it is not there.

I have heard the complaint that he will be another Jimmy Carter; I do not agree. As long as the entrenched party of power in Washington does not hamstring his efforts, and yes, I do mean the Demopcrats, Obama has the potential to make significant progress on our nation and society.

It is time to encourage the lofty goals and tenets of Masonry into the politics of the US; things like tolerance, charity, and thoughtfulness.

You know, the kind of things we did not see for the last few years.