I have a simple way of judging a political event. If I know most everybody there, and they’re my age, it’s a flop. If I don’t know many people, and they’re young, it’s a success.
Governor Cooper’s Inaugural SnowBall was a huge winner.
It was jammed with smart, interesting, idealistic, funny, charming and hard-working young people in their 20s and 30s. Men and women, black and white, straight and gay. Also, good-looking, good dancers and dressed to impress.
They are the Obama Generation.
In 2008 and 2012, Obama inspired them. In his farewell address this week, he said this about them:
“Let me tell you, this generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, and just, and inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, that it’s not something to fear but something to embrace, you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result the future is in good hands.”
He’s right. And North Carolina Democrats, including Governor Cooper and the next state party chair, need to harness their talents, keep them involved and give them their shot at moving North Carolina forward.
Those of us in the Kennedy Generation and the Clinton Generation need to step up for this generation. Not step aside, because we still have a lot to give them (money, references and jobs) and a lot to teach them (like learning from our mistakes).
But it’s time to make room for them, give them a hand up and put their hands on the wheel of history.
If we do, the future of North Carolina will be in good hands.