The Common Good

Connected to a National Community

The 2008 election is obviously historic. But it will always be significant for me not just as a turning point in history, but as the first time during an election I felt like I was a part of a nation of voters as opposed to an individual casting her ballot. The difference? The community provided through the internet. I watched the election returns with my laptop open and in conversation with friends around the country through Facebook and Twitter. From coast to coast, in real time, I experienced with them the tension, the questions, the humor, and the joy (and of course the fascination with CNN's new Star Wars-esqe hologram toy). Although I was stuck in my living room with the kids asleep in bed, I attended a nationwide event. We weren't in Grant Park, but we experienced it as one. This is the new America.

Julie Clawson is the author of the forthcoming book Everyday Justice (IVP 2009). She blogs at and

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