The chart below depicts the last three general elections in Whatcom County. I will make no vouch for my statistical work, you can run your own numbers should you find error or disagreement with mine. Nonetheless, a tale of great hope is told below. Below are literally thousands of birthdays of those who voted in the last three Whatcom County elections. The 2006 and 2007 general elections show something typically bell shaped. In those elections, the great mass of war babies and baby boomers, now between 50 and 70 years of age provided the greatest bulk of the vote, until something magical happened: the presidential election of Barack Obama in 2008.
We don't often stop to think about how much of the electorate living in this county are under age 50. We live in a time of history where cultural political icons (JFK, RFK, MLK, FDR) are only stories for us. Few of us can possibly remember them alive. Until the election of Barack Obama, I am not sure how many people thought about what political power would look like in the hands of Generation X and Y. (Don't you love those terms? As if our children will be last generation...Z!!).
In the last general election, many age groups were energized. Voter participation rates broke records across the United States. But those of us Barack Obama's age and younger did something extraordinary. We produced a freight train at the front of that usually waning right-hand X axis. We blew up the bell curve. Suddenly, with less warning than one would assume, generations acted in concert to throw off the chains of one of the ugliest regimes in our country's history.
How will this be repeated on Tuesday? Will we continue to exercise our collective power and destiny? Will we continue to reshape the political landscape? Or will we fall back into cynicism and apathy? Will we let that right edge trail to nothingness again? Sauron has been overthrown, but the spirit of the dark lord will endure unless we complete our task: to destroy the ring of fire forever. This Tuesday, please vote.
Blowing up the Bell Curve.