From Enthralled to Dissolved

The Red Sox’s World Series win marked the end of an era. After an 86-year drought, New Englanders are finally baseball’s world champions. But, with the remarkable championship victory, a certain mystique has died. Red Sox fans under the age of 86 have never seen their team win it all, but nevertheless rallied behind them year after year. The chase of the seemingly unreachable dream seemed to bond them together under a devoted loyalty to the team. So, what do diehard Boston Red Sox fans do now that their beloved team has reached the ungraspable dream? Do they lose interest because the fat lady sang or do they remain adamant and dedicated fans? The same question can be applied to politically active young people now that the election is over. Whether you have been supporting one of the Presidential candidates over the past several months or have just been learning about the issues throughout the process, you might be wondering “What next?” In the case of the Red Sox, some critics argue that the certain wholehearted dedication to the team will wash away. Most fans, however, stress that their loyalty and commitment to the home team will only continue to strengthen. The politically active youth, especially here at Andover, should adopt such an attitude. Even though it may appear as if politics will fade out of our lives now that the election is over, it is critical that we stay involved and informed. Political activity should not rely on the outcome of Tuesday’s election. If you are disappointed that the candidate you had supported lost, your voice can still be heard. If you are satisfied with the result, you surely are in a position where you can continue to make a difference. No matter what side you may find yourself on, you have the ability to make an impact on society. During my first year at Andover, I was not very impressed by the political activity among students. Though there were a few events to attend, such as the debate between the Republican and Democrat clubs and the capital punishment debate, I did not get a strong sense of political awareness on campus. But when I returned this fall, the number of forums, debates, and club meetings in the first few weeks of school seemed to exceed the number held during the entirety of last year. For example, Nat Lavin ’07 organized two trips to canvass for Bush in New Hampshire, the Democrat club sponsored a showing of “Going Up River” and hosted a screening of the presidential debates in 1924 House, a You Decide 2004 forum was held in Ropes, and a celebration of youth involvement in the American political process was held in Underwood. As a result, more and more students began to participate in the process. Though impressed by the increased political action, I sensed that it was solely in preparation for the nearing election. I feared student involvement in politics would dwindle after the election. We cannot let this happen. Too many issues remain unresolved and there is still room for change. As scary as it sounds, our generation will one day lead this great country. With this in mind, it is vital that Andover students make the effort to remain politically alert and involved in this post-November 2nd era.