Looking backward, looking forward

Why are so many people blaming the youth vote? I looked at the numbers, and the 18-29 age group was the only age group to prefer Kerry to Bush. On turnout, everyone is criticizing the fact that youths accounted for the same % of the total popular vote as in the last election. What they're missing is the fact that in 2000, only 105.4 million votes were cast. In 2004, we're already over 115 million votes with provisional and absentee ballots still to be counted, and by the time all is done the total will be closer to 120 million. The youth vote made a significant leap forward this year. It just happened to be masked by an increase in turnout across older demographics as well. Given that the youth vote has always accounted for a minority of the total vote, it had to grow by a larger percentage to maintain the same share of the total vote as in the past. I'm sure there's room for improvement, but even though I'm officially not part of the youth demo anymore, I don't think it's fair to scapegoat them. Don't blame the youths, or mock youth vote turnout movements like Rock the Vote or P. Diddy's Vote or Die, for Kerry's loss. If anything, blame the older folks who turned out to support Bush.
[NOTE: This map shows what the election results would have been if decided by 18-29 year olds]
Depressed Cubs fans know there's always next year. Unjustified and exaggerated optimism are an effective numbing agent for the pains of today. Sammy Sosa whining? Let's dump him and replace him with Carlos Beltran.
That mental coping mechanism can work here, as well. In 2008, it's time to pull out the all the stops. Time to match the hot new rookie Barack Obama with established superstar Oprah Winfrey. What a historic ticket that would be, in so many respects.
It may also help to visualize the mathematics of the popular vote across states as a continuum. In that respect, America is spectrum of purple, not a sea of red hemmed in on the West and Northeast by two walls of blue [via BoingBoing]. Come to think of it, though. an arbitrary mixing of red and blue may be just another distortion layered on top of the blue-red dichotomy distortion. Some reds and blues (I know a few myself) just don't mix. To truly find common ground, we need a way to visualize individual issue where liberals and conservatives share common views. I believe such a space exists, though you can only stand there if you really stand there. You can't fly to Paris, stand under the Eiffel Tower, and call yourself a Parisian.
There's also humor. Sad, but true, from The Onion. And again. We're one of the world's most advanced civilizations, but we can't hold an election without suspicions of tampering.
And there's the drink. I'd resort to that old standby, but I have to run that marathon Sunday.