Changing landscape

After the veritable Democratic landslide elections of 2008, conservative commentators and observers have pointed to polling that shows 34 percent of Americans claimed to be conservative while 22 percent claimed to be liberal in asserting that their politics are still thriving. The United Sates is a center right country, they argue, and the 2008 elections were just a product of a poor economy and unpopular president. While those arguments have validity, young voters may play a significant role in changing the political landscape to what is now considered the left. Consider a recently released Pew Research Center report: 66 percent of voters under the age of 30 voted for Barack Obama, which is up from 54 percent who voted for John Kerry during the 2004 elections. The disparity between young voters to other voting populations during the 2008 elections is larger than it has been since 1972, according to the Pew Center. This remarkable shift is perhaps illustrative of the Obama campaignâÄôs unprecedented ability to reach out to young voters through technology like the Internet and text messaging. But what stands out more than the apparent political change is that youth populations today are more diverse, and less religious, than ever. If youth voters continue to show up at the polls in larger numbers, the political landscape will profoundly change. ThatâÄôs a promising prospect considering the issues this nation still hasnâÄôt resolved: gay marriage rights, health care and a more humanistic foreign policy. Politicians should take careful note; the nation could be moving to resolve its archaic conflicts. But the burden is not solely on the political establishment to change âÄî our democratic system was established otherwise.