The elections this year haven't even come close to REALLY starting yet, but I think this campaign year of 2008 has made a difference, and its effects will ripple into the immediate future.
Maybe I'm just being melodramatic, but I think this year serves as a crucible for the future of the Democratic Party. I think there are candidates who lost in the primary who are just beginning to make their influence felt, and who will use their experience to run for other posts and seek out other leadership positions in our party and state. Their names are only just beginning to be known, and their ideas are just beginning to be heard.
For volunteers and campaign staff, I think this year has been, for some, the best of times, and for others, the worst of times. And I think that has affected the course of their future dealings. For some, they will reevaluate the candidates they tend to support and the policy/political stances they take, and their future efforts will reveal this. For some, they will learn from what has happened, and when they make their own future runs for political office, the scars and the victories of 2008 will be a part of their background, embedded deep.
This reminds me of the vets of the 21st century (Iraq and Afghanistan) and their political awakening. Although we've already seen some small examples, I think the next 25 years will be filled with candidates and elected officials who are veterans of our current, ongoing wars. Those combat experiences were a crucible for them and their lives...a time when they went from being a regular Jane or Joe to a time when their eyes opened to the consequences of the actions of our elected officials and made them realize what must be done to protect and defend others. They are now just beginning to get involved in campaigns, public service, and envisioning future runs for office.
2008. A year to be remembered. Not quite as powerful as 1968, but still, with some comparisons to be made in how it will affect our political future on the local, state, and, yes, even national level for years to come.
Again, maybe I've just being melodramatic, but I know, b/c of this year, I'll never be the same again. And it's caused me much political and personal self-reflection. And that's healthy for any party...and any individual.
The future will be interesting...
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