Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 7, 2012

CARRIE STAMBAUGH: The new normal

ASHLAND — The new normal. It’s a phrase you’ve been hearing over and over again to describe the electorate that has twice now voted President Obama into office.

In a culture that has become all about branding, the new normal is just a catchy phrase for reality.

The reality is that the demographics of the country are changing and have been for a long time. The result is voters are changing and so are their values.

Some people just haven’t been paying attention. Or, they have just had a serious case of denial.

I wrote a column earlier this year describing my generation, “the millennials” and the set of values they embrace.

I received an email in which one reader interpreted it to mean that I was both “young and communist” and wrote to tell me so. He advised me to have lots of children. This, he said, would open my eyes to the harsh realities of life.

I don’t think he understood what I was trying to tell him.

Not all young people are “liberals” just like not all old people are “conservatives,” contrary to that old popular saying.  Millenials just have a different set of values than other generations, shaped by their life experiences.

 His world view is simply out of step with that of those who are now exercising their political will in larger and larger numbers. He’s turned a blind eye to the realities that will continue to shape our culture and our country as it moves into the future.

In many ways, he is representative of those who were caught off guard most by the results of the recent election. He is male, white and a baby boomer.

The “new normal” electorate is young, female and Latino. That is the coalition that put Obama in office. They are the demographics that need to be paid attention to and come with a set of facts that are undeniable.

Women are out earning and out learning men in huge numbers. We’re doing it because we have the power to choose how many children we have and when.

The bulk of us aren’t going to give that up without one heck of a fight. We also vote in larger numbers, more often then men and have been since 1980. We proved our political will this year, just look at the numbers.

Youth turnout has also been growing steadily for the last three presidential cycles. It’s a trend, not a fluke. Youth voters swung the handful of swing states that gave Obama his victory.

Young people are highly connected through social networking and engaged in the political process. Evidence shows that is only going to increase.

The number crunchers have also been telling us for some time that the country is on pace to become a more ethnically diverse nation in the next century. For the first time in our history, minority births outpaced white births this year. We are becoming a living, breathing reflection of the diverse globe we live on.

Normal is always changing, and change is the very heart of our American democracy; it has been from the beginning.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Acres and acres of eggs

    A dozen volunteers spent the morning Saturday scattering more than 6,000 plastic eggs around the Greenup County Farm Bureau’s 10-acre field Saturday morning.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Volunteers to pack thousands of meals for hungry Haitians

    Members of the First Baptist Church in Grayson are planning for the third year in a row to pack thousands of meals for starving people in Haiti, and they need help to do it.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Sheriff candidates ready for election

    With no incumbent in the Boyd County Sheriff’s race, Republican and Democrat candidates for the post will square off in their respective primaries next month.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0148.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • guyp-rodnew.jpg 'Uplifting people'

    The snow kept gospel singer Guy Penrod chilling a little longer than it should have this spring.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone