It seems to be the be-all and end-all, wonderful, magical, semi-religious, all-encompassing catch-word of this US presidential process (a process, which at its worst, is appearing to take longer to end than the half-life of Uranium 238).
“But the choice is between the right change and the wrong change, between going forward and going backward,” declares Senator McCain.
“It’s not just enough to change the players. We’ve gotta change the game,” exhorts Senator Obama.
Stop. And realize.
Yes Senator. It is a game, if not dare I say, a ruse.
“Change” is a very infectious word, and therein lays the danger.
Senator Obama has been the primary catalyst behind this concept of “change” and everything it encompasses. It is plastered in front of nearly every single podium he stands before to pontificate.
Obama’s rhetoric has attracted people in droves, those who are tired of Washington cynicism and “politics as usual.”
I do admire those eager for change. The Bush II Administration will in all likelihood be roasted by historians as one of the most unpopular, scandal-ridden presidential tenures to ever grace the Office (e.g. the Plame Affair, where a CIA spy’s covert identity was revealed, the absence of WMD’s in Iraq, etc.).
The economy is suffering, house foreclosures are high, and gasoline is at record price levels. People are thirsting for change and see Obama as an oasis towards that end.
Many may be let down as a very significant fact comes into plain view.
Senator Obama is a politician.
He will engage political tactics to get elected and to survive in office, even if that means going back on his word (as he already has, e.g. campaign public finance). Voter alienation and disaffection are all very real consequences.
Hypothetically even, if Mr. Obama did wish to introduce sweeping change to the landscape of Washington politics, he would have to do it via Congress, and the Federal Civil Service, all of whom I dare say, are more likely to be set in their ways than not.
If change can occur, it will be through the slow morass that is American politics. As the old saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
The very idea of wanting change, longing for change, makes one almost want to drink. It is something to lament over, as we all seem to desire it, no matter which country you find yourself in. Americans and people of this world alike look at their respective political scenes and ask themselves, “Is this really as good as it can get?”
I am a realist. You can answer that question for yourselves.
Whoever is elected, they have three options pertaining to change:
1) fight like hell to obtain it at any cost;
2) flip-flop, and then apologize as to why the change they suggested is either unwise or untenable;
3) lie and brush aside suggestions that they did not keep their word, and succumb to the reality of what they are, i.e. once more, politicians.
I respect anyone who chooses one or two; if either man chooses three, send their asses packing in 2012.
My only wish is to see those caught up in the tsunami that is “change” not be taken advantage of, or contrarily, to realize the sour reality of their own naivety and take any and all promises for change, revolution, paradigm shift, all with bags of salt (because a grain will not suffice).
For now, if you want change, vote independent, because in a two party system – only one more than North Korea has – you’re not likely to get much.
Be it far from me though to tell a bunch of Americans how to vote.
I’m just a Canadian.