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March for our lives
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Agree or not, March For Our Lives event was impressive

On March 24, 2018, Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., closed her eyes and cried as she stood silently at the podium for the amount of time it took the Parkland shooter to go on his killing spree during the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik File)

Somewhere between 200,000 and 800,000 people marched in Washington D.C. this weekend to lend their support to a budding movement created by the survivors of the Parkland High School shooting. They call it March For Our Lives.

Several million people marched worldwide, including communities in Washington. If the organizers’ estimate is correct, think about the D.C. turnout for a minute: 800,000 people. The current population of Seattle is 704,352.

PHOTOS from March For Our Lives demonstrations in Washington

If you don’t think that something significant is going on, you’re not paying attention. Take seven minutes and watch one of the best speeches you’ll ever see from Emma Gonzales. Not the best speech by a high school student, one of the best speeches period. She took to the stage in front of a crowd nearing a million people and connected emotionally like few people could have. It was impressive and inspiring.

So what difference will it make? That remains to be seen, of course.

March For Our Lives

This was just one of the hundreds of marches that happened around the country over the weekend. Let’s imagine for a minute that these 800,000 teens all decide to vote when they turn 18 in the next election. What would that have done in the last election?

That’s enough votes to flip Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Georgia from Red to Blue with over 40,000 votes to spare.

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Now clearly I understand that’s not exactly how the electoral college works. I just wanted to put the numbers in some kind of context. And I’m not necessarily endorsing everything the March For Our Lives movement stands for, but I am impressed with what they accomplished this weekend.

This is how democracy works in the modern era. We’ve recently seen how social media can be used in underhanded ways to manipulate an election. These young people may be showing us another way that social media can influence voting.

The NRA claims between 5-7 million members that it can mobilize to vote. They clearly have only begun. But what if March For Our Lives can mobilize the people that showed up on Saturday to the voting booth?

I guess we’ll find out on November 3, 2020.

You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.

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