The Biggest Winners

Posted by John Atlas on November 12, 2008

Obama’s election. For those under 30, it was a landslide.

Despite the news that Obama is considering the neoliberal Larry Summers for Treasury Secretary and former Senator Sam Nunn is aiding the transition process at the Pentagon, I am overjoyed and have a huge sense of pride for Obama’s election.

There are three critical reasons.

I became an activist in the 1960s because of the civil-rights movement, and with Obama’s election, we have crossed a gigantic racial barrier.

Obama’s broad-based support and his call for hope and reaching out to our higher ideals will make it much harder for mean-spirited right-wing politicians and talk-show radio personalities to spout their hateful rhetoric that so divides our country.

Most of all, Obama ran a campaign that inspired young people and minorities to vote in enormous numbers, as well as volunteer in an unprecedented way. Many braved long lines to be part of this historic moment.

Those 65 percent of voters under 30 who voted for Obama and reject cynicism, division, and intolerance will be our next generation of activists and leaders.

About the author more »

John Atlas is president and one of the founders of NHI. Atlas is the author of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group (Vanderbilt University Press, 2010), a story about one group’s efforts to reduce inequality. Atlas lives in Montclair, NJ, and is working on an upcoming theatrical documentary funded by the Sundance Institute, Tribeca Film Institute, and PBS.

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