A three block line weaved through a quaint neighborhood in South End of Boston, each person waiting to cast their vote at the polling place inside the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. This is an austere, historic and heavily liberal section of Boston (generously assuming there are some non-liberal parts of Boston). Signs for Elizabeth Warren and buttons proudly proclaiming “Students for Obama” were in abundance.
This reporter called on some of those in line, asking some simple questions concerning why they showed up today to perform their civic duty. The answers usually began with a declaration of unwavering support for the president. So what were the issues that animated them in the campaign? Their answers were largely couched in generalities, warm pockets of feel-good social “rights” issues, that sounded line-and-verse like Obama campaign talking points.
“Women’s rights”, “gay marriage”, “planned parenthood”, “social welfare” rang out time and time again. The economic issues Mitt Romney hammered on were nowhere to be found — these voters were participating in an alternate election, one based on the social issues hand-crafted by team Obama. Without any specifics, but in full faith, these young voters stood, ready to cast their sacred ballots for the incumbent.