The most trying times demand the most of a nation's people.
As teenagers, my parents' generation faced the Great Depression and World War II. America survived those tough times because men like my father-in-law and five uncles fought across the Atlantic -- including Uncle Louis, killed at age 24 in Holland. And because women like my mom and aunts worked at McClellan Air Force Base and Libby's Cannery. Their shared sacrifice showed us the best of our nation.
Today, America's recovering from a financial crash and two long wars. We face joblessness, a crisis in public education and environmental disaster. A new generation that could rise to the times has been nowhere in sight.
Perhaps, until now.
In 2008, pundits said higher voter turnout among 18 to 29 year olds was a fluke -- a flash of naive enthusiasm. But In 2012, young Americans voted in even higher proportions. In California, they made up a quarter of the electorate. It's something every American-Democrat, Republican, or Independent- can celebrate.