How much of your character was formed by the time you were in your senior year of high school? Not all of it, no, but enough that most of us can look back and see things we’ve learned since then.
One thing I remember being afraid of going into that year, when I transferred from a small private school to a much larger public school, was that someone would beat me up. I even was afraid someone would cut off my hair as a hateful “prank”.
It turned out not to be that bad at all, but hearing of this incident—which it is hard to imagine forgetting being part of on either side—reminds me of those feelings of being small, powerless, and on the outside of a culture I don’t understand.
Curiously, in the face of all the change in American society these days, that feeling of fear among those who describe themselves as traditional or conservative may bring votes to Romney. I’m not sure how much of people’s voting behavior is tied to what they are most afraid of (and which candidate seems like the better protector from it), but I do think people feel the ground shifting under their feet and that unsteadiness will strongly impact the election.
Liberals and centrists will have to guard against perceiving the shift as them having already won and thus not needing to push as hard to win. I think we might see a very big conservative turnout this time around.